Bullying has resulted in many tragedies. On the worst end of these tragedies are suicide and homicide. The unfortunate reality is that bullying has pressured some people–children and adults—into taking their lives or the lives of their bullies. As a result, California took measures to reduce the likelihood of bullying by criminalizing it. Today, bullying is a crime. There is not a one-size-fits-all definition of bullying. Bullying can occur regardless of the alleged victim’s age and in any environment. If the state accuses you of bullying, you shouldn’t take this charge lightly. Instead, contact The Justice Firm to represent you.
California’s Bullying Law
California is one of the first states to tackle the bullying crisis and develop laws to promote anti-bullying campaigns. But California’s bullying laws vary slightly depending on where it occurs, where it originated from, and how it happens.
Over the years, the education sector has adopted numerous anti-bullying policies. One of the most well-known instances of this is Seth’s Law, which went into effect in 2012. Seth Walsh was a thirteen-year-old student who committed suicide after being bullied for his presumed sexual orientation. The allegation was that his public school was not proactive in taking meaningful steps to end the taunts. Thus, Seth’s Law requires public schools to protect students targeted for their actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, race, ethnicity, nationality, and origin. This protection also requires public schools to investigate claims of bullying. These investigations may lead to suspension, expulsion, or a criminal penalty.
Cyberbullying occurs through electronic communication or on a digital platform, such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and others. It can happen in a school, workplace, or home setting. Other than the addition of electronic communication, the other elements of bullying must still be met, such as sending, posting, or sharing damaging, harmful, or false content about someone else.
You should also know about Jordan’s Law. Jordan’s Law makes it an aggravating factor to record a violent felony when your intent is to encourage or facilitate the offense. In other words, committing a violent act like battery and filming the attack will result in a lengthier prison sentence. California made the filming of felonies an aggravating factor due to the thousands of online videos of teenagers fighting and being attacked.
California’s Criminal Penalties For Bullying
Cyberbullying is a misdemeanor offense. It comes with a sentence of up to 1 year in county jail and a fine of up to $1000. But even if that may seem like a light sentence, there’s more to consider. Having any sort of criminal record diminishes your career opportunities. An arrest and incarceration will cause you to lose your job, and future employers may be reluctant to hire you. After all, they may view you as a walking HR liability. If you are a student, this can derail your educational opportunities, which will make job security that much more difficult to achieve.
Los Angeles Bullying Law Firm
No one likes to be accused of a crime they didn’t commit, and the accusation of bullying can damage your reputation. Considering how this accusation can lead to your removal from educational and workplace settings and put you behind bars, you should take it seriously. To guard against being unjustly punished for bullying, call us now. We offer immediate responses to your inquiries through our 24/7 live answering service. You may call us toll-free at 866-695-6714 or locally at 310-914-2444. To schedule a free consultation, you may also fill out our contact form here.