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Can your child’s online activities be crimes?

On Behalf of | Oct 29, 2022 | Juvenile Offenses

The internet and its related technologies have become commonplace in most American households. In fact, according to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the average child spends as many as 6 hours each day using connected devices. For teens, that number jumps to 9 or more.

By now, most parents understand the internet can be a dangerous and disruptive experience for children. Still, if the young one in your family uses an internet connection in certain ways, he or she may face both criminal prosecution and potentially life-changing consequences.

Cyberbullying

As you know, kids can be downright mean. If your child uses an electronic communications device, such as a smartphone, tablet or gaming system, to target, threaten, harass or intimidate someone else, he or she may be guilty of criminal cyberstalking. This is the most common charge for children and teens who bully friends, classmates and even strangers online.

Parental responsibility

Responsible parents understand the importance of monitoring their children’s online activities. Nevertheless, few parents can constantly be looking over their kids’ shoulders. If setting rules, using special software and watching online behaviors do not work, obtaining competent legal counsel may be the most effective way to protect your son or daughter.

There are many possible defenses to criminal cyberstalking charges, of course. Ultimately, rather than blindly cooperating with authorities, rushing to accept a plea deal and hoping for the best, it is advisable to exercise all of your child’s legal rights and explore all feasible defenses.