Cyber-Harassment Laws Punish Those Using Internet For Personal Grudges
- November 5, 2015
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In spite of numerous educational efforts targeted to both juveniles and adults, the crime of cyber-harassment continues to be a growing issue due to the perceived degree of anonymity by those perpetrating such crimes. Cyber-harassment (N.J.S.A. 2:33-4.1) is communication with the purpose to harass another by employing a physical threat of bodily injury or the conveyance of lewd, indecent or obscene material with the purpose of causing emotional harm to the person or persons portrayed in said material. Actual harm need not be caused by the acts as long as the acts are undertaken with the intent to emotionally harm a reasonable person or place a reasonable person in fear of physical or emotional harm. Cyber-harassment charges are substantially more serious than standard harassment charges under N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4. While standard harassment charges are disorderly persons offenses, cyber-harassment charges under N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4.1 are felony charges which begin at a fourth-degree level and increase in degree if aggravating circumstances are present. Due to the serious consequences, ranging from minimal damage to a person’s reputation to suicide in some extreme cases, New Jersey and other states have taken an increasingly harsh stance against those accused of perpetrating or conspiring (N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2 and 2C:33-4.1) to perpetrate such crimes. The federal government has also enacted 18 U.S.C. Section 2261A, applicable to those intending to threaten or harm, physically or emotionally, those in other states by employment of the internet. If you are charged with cyber-harassment, or conspiracy to commit cyber-harassment, you should consult an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. For more information about cyber-harassment, harassment or other serious criminal charges in NJ visit DarlingFirm.com. This blog is for informational purposes only and not intended to replace the advice of an attorney.