Social Media Crimes
LEGAL GUIDANCE FOR ATLANTA RESIDENTS CHARGED WITH SOCIAL MEDIA CRIMES
Social media is an inescapable part of the 21st century. Popular social media sites can facilitate the flow of information by making it easier for people from around the world to exchange ideas. Unfortunately, social media also makes it easier for people to perpetrate certain types of crimes. Cyber-bullying and other forms of harassment are widespread online, as are crimes related to child pornography, such as child enticement. People charged with these offenses should not discount the seriousness of these crimes. If you are in this situation, seek advice from Atlanta internet crime attorney at Rowsey & Stelter, who knows the nuances of this complex, rapidly developing area of law. We can help devise a strategy for you to cast doubt on the prosecution’s charges and avoid the negative consequences of compiling a criminal record. We represent clients for criminal defense cases in numerous communities across Georgia, including Milton, Johns Creek, Marietta, Sandy Springs, and Johns Creek.
CYBER-BULLYING AND CHILD ENTICEMENT
Social media networks and other Internet sites can be involved in many crimes, such as identity theft, hacking, scams, or other types of fraud. One of the most common and damaging crimes that can happen online, however, is when someone uses an electronic device to harass or threaten someone else. This is known as cyber-bullying, or cyber-stalking, and it often happens anonymously. Social media sites can also be vehicles for other types of harassment, such as hate crimes. These refer to behavior that targets victims based on their age, gender, sexual orientation, or race.
It is often difficult to interpret someone’s intentions based on stray comments or cryptic posts on a social media network, so usually a pattern of behavior or repeated events is required to sustain a charge of cyber-bullying or harassment. The harassment also must be intentional, which means that the perpetrator must have specifically wanted to hurt the targeted person. Unintentionally hurting someone’s feelings does not rise to the level of criminal behavior.
Separate from harassment, but also widespread online, is child enticement. The state of Georgia has made it illegal for a person to use an Internet site, such as a social media network, to solicit a child under the age of 16 to engage in any illegal sexual act. It is also a crime to use a social media network to have sexually explicit conversations with a child. However, the child’s testimony is not sufficient to convict a defendant on this charge. The prosecution must produce separate evidence to sustain a conviction.
Penalties for these offenses can be severe if a defendant is convicted. For example, enticing a child online is a felony that generally exposes convicted defendants to a sentence of between one and 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. Beyond the criminal penalties themselves, the impact of such a conviction on your record could ripple through the rest of your life. Efforts to find a job in today’s difficult economy might well be tainted by a criminal record. If you are seeking further education or training, your ability to pursue the program that you want might be compromised. This is why it is crucial to fight the prosecution’s charges throughout the process and make sure that they prove every element of the case against you beyond a reasonable doubt. The guidance of a knowledgeable, aggressive criminal defense lawyer is central to that effort.
SERVING ROSWELL CRIMINAL DEFENDANTS CHARGED WITH SOCIAL MEDIA OFFENSES
It is easy to misinterpret actions or statements made online, which can easily be taken out of context. Cyber-bullying, child enticement, and other serious crimes do happen on social media networks, but there are many situations in which a criminal charge can arise from a simple misunderstanding. No matter your specific circumstances, you should consider consulting Internet harassment lawyer Thomas C. Rowsey for assistance with your case. We have represented many people in the Roswell area who have faced criminal charges based on their social media behavior. To set up a free consultation at Rowsey & Stelter, you can contact us by phone at 770-993-5317, or by filling out our online form.