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Cyberbullies: Charges could lead to heavy penalties

Cyberbullying doesn't always seem serious. After all, kids are just kids, and the majority of cases involve children and minors. The truth is, though, that cyberbullying is a crime, and it does have real repercussions.

Kids faced with constant bullying online and at school struggle tremendously. Some turn to suicide as an answer, while others lash out in other ways. No matter who someone is, he or she could become a victim of an act of cyberbullying.

As someone who is charged with cyberbullying or harassing someone online, you need to understand what you're really being accused of. You're being accused of persisting with an action after you've been asked to stop. You're being accused of attempting to threaten or harm someone and continuing that trauma over the internet. Cyberstalking, harassment and threats all have the potential to lead to serious charges with harsh penalties for you if you don't defend yourself carefully.

Statistics show that 34 percent of children between the ages of 12 and 17 face cyberbullying, and in Ohio, they're starting to crack down on these actions. One young woman who struggled with cyberbullying is drawing attention to it and seeking to create an anti-bullying date across the state.

If you're accused of cyberbullying another person, be prepared to defend yourself. You can face multiple penalties if you're found guilty of bullying someone online, including being sent to prison and fined heavily. Every case is different, so it's important to talk to your attorney about what the accusations against you could lead to in terms of charges.

Source: The Columbus Dispatch, "Cyberbullying victim seeks awareness day in Ohio," Megan Heny, accessed Jan. 11, 2018

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