What are the Penalties for Cyberbullying?

An act of cyberbullying against a student is a misdemeanor in Mississippi, and it traditionally results in a fine of up to $500 and a jail sentence of up to six months. However, the case is handled by the juvenile court when a defendant is younger than 17. 

Stalking is another related crime and this misdemeanor can result in a one-year jail sentence and a fine of up to $1,000. Aggravated stalking is a felony that may result in a five-year prison sentence. Once again, different sentences may apply if the defendant is younger than 17. However, this crime also has the potential to become more serious if the victim was younger than 18 years old. 

Cyberstalking can be even more serious than stalking in the state of Mississippi. If convicted, your child faces a felony conviction and a prison sentence of up to two years. 

Do Not Assume Your Child Will Get Off Easy Because of Their Age

It is important to note that juvenile court can be quite serious. Even though your child may not face “normal” prison sentences due to being younger than 17, the juvenile court can hand out life-altering punishments. In addition, it is quite possible for your student to be tried as an adult while still in high school. During their senior years, most students are older than 17. Of course, students could face these charges during their college years, as well.

In addition, a student may face additional legal consequences in the form of a civil suit. For example, the victim of alleged cyberbullying may sue your student for damages like emotional distress and suffering. In some cases, these lawsuits can be even more problematic than criminal charges.

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