New Jersey College Student Defense: Internet Threats

Internet Threats on New Jersey College Campuses

New Jersey colleges and universities, like schools at other levels and in other states, rely heavily on computing resources. Students live online, both inside and outside the classroom. College and university courses immerse students in virtual academic work through course management systems, academic research bases, word processing systems, graphics presentations, spreadsheets and analytics, and communications systems. Student social life also immerses students in the virtual world through social media, streaming services, podcasts, video services, and messaging apps, among many other online applications. Predictably, then, conflicts between students and others on campus also get drawn online. And when students engage in various forms of endangering, threatening, or illegal behavior, that misconduct, too, ends up online. New Jersey colleges and universities like Rutgers, Montclair State, Kean University, Rowan University, New Jersey City University, and Thomas Edison State University maintain policies against internet threats and similar computer misuse, just as New Jersey public law criminalizes internet threats. If you face allegations at your New Jersey college or university that you threatened another student or someone else over the internet or engaged in other computer misuses, retain New Jersey student discipline and criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm's student defense team to defend both the criminal and school charges.

New Jersey's Internet Threats Criminal Law

Different states have different ways of regulating and criminalizing internet threats and other misuses of the internet. New Jersey codifies its internet threats criminal law in the “cyber-harassment crime” statute New Jersey Statute 2C:33-4.1. Under that law, a defendant commits cyber-harassment when communicating online or through a social networking site intending to harass another. To complete the cyber-harassment crime, the defendant must either threaten to inflict injury or physical harm to a person or property, knowingly send, post, comment, request, suggest, or propose lewd, indecent, or obscene material intending emotional harm or reasonable fear of physical or emotional harm, or threaten to commit any other crime against the person or person's property. In outline, New Jersey Statute 2C:33-4.1 requires (1) online communication, (2) intent to harass, and (3) at least one of the listed acts of harassment. Any college or university student reading this statute can imagine how easy it might be for an angry, emotional, or otherwise upset or misguided student to commit cyber-harassment. You can also imagine how easy another student might find it to allege that you committed the crime. Beware cyber-harassment on and off campus.

New Jersey Criminal Penalties for Internet Threats

New Jersey's cyber-harassment crime statute New Jersey Statute 2C:33-4.1 makes cyber-harassment a fourth-degree felony in the usual instance. If, however, the defendant is at least twenty-one years old but impersonates a minor to cyber-harass a minor, the statute makes cyber-harassment a third-degree felony. A fourth-degree felony carries a maximum sentence of a year and a half in prison and a $10,000 fine, while a third-degree felony carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $15,000 fine. Cyber-harassment is thus a very serious internet threat crime, carrying stiff penalties. Any incarceration of even a short duration can seriously disrupt education, employment, finances, and relationships. Longer jail or prison sentences can derail and destroy education and other important commitments. Criminal convictions can also carry serious collateral consequences like the loss of jobs, careers, professional licenses, security clearances, immigration status, and vocational certifications. If you face cyber-harassment charges, retain New Jersey student discipline and criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento for your best defense.

Other New Jersey Internet Crimes

Other New Jersey statutes criminalize other internet wrongs that constitute internet threats or may relate to cyber-harassment crimes. New Jersey's Cyber Crime Unit lists the relevant New Jersey statutes defining the state's most common computer crimes. For example, New Jersey Statute 2C:12-3 criminalizes terroristic threats with the purpose of terrorizing another or causing building evacuations. Terroristic threat crime includes threatening to kill another. New Jersey Statute 2C:12-10 defines the stalking crime to include any means, including computer means, of repeatedly communicating threats toward another person. New Jersey Statute 2C:13-6 criminalizes luring a minor under the age of eighteen by electronic or other means to another location to commit a criminal offense involving the child. Similarly, New Jersey Statute 2C:12-13-7 criminalizes luring an adult by electronic or other means to another location to commit a criminal offense involving the adult. And New Jersey Statute 2C:16-1 criminalizes bias intimidation threatening others based on their protected characteristics. These and other internet-based crimes are generally fourth, third, or even second-degree felonies carrying long maximum prison sentences and substantial fines. Internet threats and deception are serious business. Federal laws also criminalize certain internet crimes.

New Jersey Internet Threat Prosecution

New Jersey investigates and prosecutes internet threats and other cyber crimes. The New Jersey State Police maintain a Cyber Crimes Unit that conducts its own investigations or assists local law enforcement, including campus police, in investigations of computer intrusions, data theft, online identity theft, unlawful computer access, account hijacking, cyber terrorism, cyberstalking, internal compromises, and social networking and email account intrusions. Local police and prosecutors grow increasingly knowledgeable and sophisticated in investigating, charging, and convicting for internet threats and other online crimes. The State Police Cyber Crimes Unit even trains local law enforcement in detecting and charging internet crimes.

New Jersey Campus Investigation of Internet Crime

State and local police will get the cooperation of campus police when criminal investigations involve college or university students, especially insofar as the federal Clery Act requires colleges and universities receiving federal funding to maintain campus safety policies and report campus crime statistics. New Jersey colleges and universities, like schools in other states, maintain public or private police forces to fulfill their duties relating to internet threats and other cybercrime. Students find campus police at Rutgers, New Jersey City University, Stockton University, Rowan University, and Montclair State University, for example. Students, instructors, and other school personnel may report internet threats to campus police or to other school officials who refer the complaints to campus police. Campus police may then involve local law enforcement or the state Cyber Crimes Unit in criminal investigations. Retain New Jersey student discipline and criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento if you face an internet threat investigation.

Defending New Jersey Criminal Internet Threat Charges

You may well be able to defend and defeat internet threat criminal charges with skilled and experienced student discipline and criminal defense representation. Prosecutors sometimes charge crimes for which they lack complete or convincing evidence. Police sometimes misidentify defendants or misattribute actions to the wrong defendant. Computer crime charges can be especially difficult for prosecutors to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, given uncertain and insecure access to various computer accounts. Hackers or others who have stolen passwords and misrepresented their identity may be responsible for the internet threats with which prosecutors mistakenly charge the student. New Jersey criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm's criminal defense team have the substantial skill and experience to strategically deploy New Jersey criminal procedures for your best defense outcome. Attorney Lento may reveal problems with the prosecution case, suppress illegally acquired evidence, or present mitigating evidence to support an attractive plea bargain. Skilled trial advocacy may lead to a jury acquittal for cases that proceed to trial. Or attorney Lento may recommend New Jersey's Pretrial Intervention (PTI) or Pretrial Diversion program. Appeals are also possible to correct errors and irregularities leading to a wrongful conviction. Don't give up or give in. Get the skilled help you need for your best outcome.

New Jersey Campus Internet Threat Policies

New Jersey colleges and universities have their own student conduct policies prohibiting internet threats and other computer misuses. Montclair State University, for one example, includes in its Code of Conduct strict prohibitions against computer misuse and electronic harassment, bullying, or intimidation. New Jersey's Institute of Technology, for another example, includes a computer-misuse prohibition in its Code of Student Conduct. The Institute's students must not breach computer security, hack into or otherwise misuse another's account, or violate other technology use policies. They must also comply with state laws, presumably including New Jersey's cyber-harassment crime statute. Rutgers University, for another example, prohibits unauthorized entry into or misuse of computers and communications networks in its Code of Student Conduct. New Jersey college and university student codes of conduct leave little doubt that internet threats are offenses for which the school may discipline students right up to suspension or dismissal.

Dual Criminal Charges and School Disciplinary Proceedings

Make no mistake: you could face only school disciplinary proceedings or only criminal charges relating to internet threat allegations another student or other school personnel make against you. Or you could face both criminal charges and a school disciplinary proceeding. Rutgers' Code of Student Conduct, for a good example, specifically warns, “Students may be held accountable for their behavior through both the criminal system and the University conduct process. University conduct proceedings may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings at the discretion of the Chief Conduct Officer (or their designee), on each campus.” You may even win your criminal case but still face school disciplinary charges because of the difference in the standard of proof and the differing public and campus interests. Rutgers' Code of Student Conduct continues, “Disciplinary action, decisions, or sanctions shall not be subject to change because criminal charges were dismissed, reduced, or resolved in favor of the student. University community members are not precluded from filing a civil or criminal charge against a student before, while, or after the University pursues disciplinary action.”

New Jersey Campus Internet Threat Disciplinary Procedures

Constitutional due process or school contractual and policy commitments generally guarantee that a student accused of internet threats and facing school discipline will receive fair notice of the charges and a reasonable opportunity to contest the charges before an impartial decision maker. School internet threat charges could lead to suspension or expulsion, well beyond lesser sanctions like reprimands or loss of computer and other privileges. School discipline also appears on your school record, affecting opportunities for further education, employment, and careers. New Jersey school discipline and criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento has the special academic and administrative skills and experience to strategically invoke your school's protective disciplinary procedures, like those at Montclair State University, allowing attorney Lento to assist you throughout the school's disciplinary proceeding. Let attorney Lento represent you in informal conferences and at formal hearings for your best possible outcome.

Appeals and Special Relief from Internet Threat Charges

If you have already lost your hearings and face suspension, expulsion, or other serious disciplines, attorney Lento and the Lento Law Firm student defense team can help you appeal the adverse results to a higher authority within your New Jersey college or university. If you have already exhausted all formal appeals, you may still have alternative special relief available to you. Attorney Lento's substantial nationwide school discipline defense experience and success have earned him a national reputation and network among college and university general counsel, retained counsel, and other oversight officials. Attorney Lento has used those informal channels to help many students gain reinstatement after having lost all formal proceedings. Litigation may be another option, but let attorney Lento pursue alternative special relief before you embark down that path. Let attorney Lento help you preserve your New Jersey college or university education against internet threat charges and discipline.

New Jersey Student Internet Crime Defense Representation

New Jersey student discipline and criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento combines the substantial student discipline defense experience with the criminal defense experience you need when facing internet threat criminal charges and related school disciplinary charges. Attorney Lento's successful representation of hundreds of college and university students nationwide against all kinds of misconduct charges proves his value to you. Protect your education and future. Contact attorney Lento now at 888.535.3686 or go online.

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When it comes to criminal defense cases, you need the right person in your corner. To learn more about how Mr. Lento can help you, call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686. or contact him online.

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