Is cyberbullying a crime in New Jersey?


Cyberbullying is a form of bullying that takes place over electronic devices that inflicts harm on another person. Cyberbullying usually involves teenagers. This may not come as a surprise given how teenagers use electronic devices such as smartphones and computers to socialize. However, all different age groups can be victims and/or guilty of cyberbullying if they use electronic communications to harass, threaten, embarrass, or target another person to inflict emotional or physical harm. This form of bullying can have negative long-term effects and result in serious stress-related conditions such as anxiety and depression. People often wonder whether cyberbullying is considered a crime in New Jersey as it has a lasting impact on victims’ overall well-being. Keep reading to learn when cyberbullying can be prosecuted as a crime and discover how a talented Camden County Criminal Defense Attorney can help you. 

What are New Jersey’s cyberbullying laws?

In most cases, cyberbullying does not cross the line to criminal conduct. However, under certain circumstances, individuals can face criminal charges if they are guilty of cyber-harassment and stalking.

In New Jersey, you are guilty of cyber-harassment if you use electronic communications to harass another person by threatening physical harm to them or their property. If you repeatedly send materials intended to emotionally or physically harm another person you can be charged with cyber-harassment. The least served charge for this offense carries a $10,000 fine and up to 18 months in jail. If you are a minor, cyber harassment in the fourth degree could result in mandatory participation in a program that teaches individuals about cyberbullying dangers. If you are above the age of 21 and impersonate a minor to harass a minor, the crime will escalate to a third-degree offense which is punishable by a $15,000 fine and up to five years in jail.

Moreover, cyber-stalking is another form of unlawful communication that will result in serious consequences if you knowingly engage in two or more acts directed against a victim to make them reasonably fear for their safety or another person’s safety which causes them to suffer severe emotional distress. Generally, cyberstalking is considered a fourth-degree offense which is punishable by a $10,000 fine and up to 18 months in jail. However, if your actions violate an existing court order, it will increase to a third-degree crime. A third-degree cyberstalking charge is punishable by a $15,000 fine and up to five years in jail.

Although New Jersey does not have a criminal statute specifically for cyberbullying, you can still be prosecuted for cyber harassment and stalking. If you have recently been charged with this criminal offense, please contact our determined team members who you can rely on to defend you vigorously. Allow our firm to fight on your behalf today.

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