Common Mistakes Juveniles Make That Affect Their Case Negatively

Interviewer: What are some of the common mistakes that juveniles make that adults might not make? You see them discussing what they did on Facebook, in other social media, and seriously damaging their defense?

Avoid Any Incriminating Discussions On Social Media

Jack: Another good question, thank you. I see a dramatic increase in bullying. Bullying takes form in many ways, but a lot of it is over Facebook and kids are being arrested and prosecuted for some of the extremely mean-spirited, hateful, and threatening things they write on Facebook.

They think it’s all innocuous or cute, but it’s cause for a big spike in arrests and they are crimes that are treated quite seriously in juvenile court. You commonly see it among girls and it’s frightening to see.

Interviewer: Do the juveniles realize that everything they put out on the Internet or on your phone, for example, texting and pictures all that can be subpoenaed and used against you?

Jack: That’s right. That’s what a parent of a bullied child will do, they’ll print the page or text out, bring it to the police and it’s almost a given that you’ll see the originator of the material visited by the police and summoned to court.

What Is the Charge for Bullying?

Interviewer: What is bullying called in the juvenile courts? Is that charged as an assault?

Jack: No. It’s harassment, or threatening. Frequently harassment, but if it goes even further it can fall into the statute of threatening.

Then there is a hate crime bias statute when someone starts talking about someone’s race or ethnicity or sexual orientation it can become a hate bias crime.

By Jack O’Donnell

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