Is Bullying Against the Law in Florida?
Bullying is defined as the use of force, coercion to abuse, threat, intimidate, or aggressively dominate others. This can be physical, verbal, or digital depending on the circumstance. Often bullying is associated with minors and is committed by children 18 and younger in school against other kids. More awareness of the problem has led to the state of Florida to pass various statutes regarding bullying behavior and how it should be punished.
Florida Statute 1006.147 defines bullying and harassment and indicates it is prohibited in public K through 12 educational institutions during any school-related or school-sponsored program. It also specifies that cyberbullying is prohibited, which is bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communications, such as e-mail, instant messages, websites, or Internet communications.
While cyberbullying isn’t seen as a separate crime from bullying in general, Florida’s stalking law covers “cyberstalking.” If you are accused of cyberstalking, you could be convicted of a misdemeanor crime. Likewise, if cyberbullying becomes a credible threat to the victim, you could be convicted of a felony crime.
Typically, people convicted of misdemeanor cyberbullying could face up to 1 year in prison and/ or a fine of up to $1,000. Felony cyberbullying could lead to a sentence of up to 5 years and/ or a fine of up to $5,000.
If you or your child has been accused of bullying or cyberbullying, make sure you hire an experienced Florida violent crimes attorney on your side. A felony on your record could follow you for the rest of your life. Make sure you give yourself the best chance to keep your freedoms and defend your rights by talking to a skilled lawyer about your options. Musca Law has more than 150 years of collective legal experience to offer your case. Contact us at (888) 497-0216 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case consultation today.