Cyberstalking is continually pursuing someone online or over the phone with the intent to harass or threaten them or their property instead of having a legitimate conversation or constructive dialogue. Repeated communications at inconvenient hours that invade another person’s sense of privacy or repeatedly challenging them, taunting them, or using offensive language to provoke a violent or fearful response from them could rightfully end in accusations of cyberstalking.
Cyberstalking and cyberbullying seem to be appearing more frequently on college campuses because as technology, the internet, and social media become more prevalent in today’s culture, they are becoming more widespread on campuses, as well, as part of what young adults need to be familiar with in order to contribute to society and the workforce. The anonymity that people often feel when communicating via phone or social media can dupe them into believing that they can post or say whatever they want with no consequences, which is not the case.
If you are a student who has been charged with cyberbullying or cyberstalking, reach out to Justie and Jenn at Nicol Gersch as soon as possible. An experienced Colorado Front Range student cyberbullying defense lawyer could help you avoid any harsh consequences. Reach out to a knowledgeable student defense attorney to discuss your case.
Student charged or found guilty of cyberbullying on campus could lose their ability to register for classes the following semester, they could be evicted from student housing, or they could face restricted access to the university’s campus and events. Cyberbullying charges are often handled by universities as a student conduct offense, and the university may administer any consequences that they see fit including suspension, expulsion, issuing a protective order against the student, or worse yet, contacting the authorities to have criminal charges brought forth.
Harassment is a Class 3 misdemeanor (M3) in Colorado, which is often considered a relatively minor offense. However, an M3 still carries with it the possibility of jail, probation, court costs, or fines. If an individual accused of harassment of cyberstalking already has a criminal history, they could be sentenced to jail for 12 to 18 months, particularly if the alleged crime can be classified as intimate partner or domestic violence.
Cyberstalking can also be charged as an M1 if the alleged offense is determined to be a hate crime, which would entail using the internet or phone to harass someone because of their race, religion, nationality, physical disability, or sexual orientation.
Any conviction on your record could result in serious life-changing consequences including trouble with getting a job down the road or questions about a background check.
During the cyberbullying investigation, screenshots of the harassing communications are often collected from the alleged victim’s phone. Both law enforcement and attorneys might only see one side of the conversation, particularly if the alleged victim has deleted certain messages or if the accused individual does not have thorough documentation of their own communication with the alleged victim. While the truth of the matter may not be immediately or easily determined, an experienced attorney is often able to prove at least that the communication went both ways and that it was not as one-sided as what the alleged victim might have reported to police.
Individuals involved in cyberbullying cases should save and download all communications, especially text or social media messages, with the other party and send them to their Colorado Front Range student cyberbullying defense lawyer. Only after organized, timestamped copies of all communication are in the hands of their attorney should they even consider deleting them.
One of the most challenging aspects of cyberbullying cases is preserving evidence, particularly if the accused individual does not know that they are under investigation. That individual should contact a cyberstalking attorney who is technologically savvy enough to identify, preserve, and analyze digital evidence as soon as possible.
An experienced cyberbullying defense attorney knows what evidence will be the most persuasive and how to obtain that evidence as easily as possible when their clients face such serious charges on campus. A seasoned Colorado Front Range student cyberbullying defense lawyer could help you fight the charges and build a defense.
Call today to learn about how Jenn and Justie could help you fight the charges.