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Your online harassment of another student could be assault

On Behalf of | Mar 17, 2020 | College Student Criminal Defense

Social media and the internet has made it easier than ever to bully or pick on someone else who bothers you, and many people seem to think that their digital behavior comes without the same consequences of real-world actions.

People are often very brave behind a keyboard and may say aggressive or uncharacteristic things to someone else online. Your online actions as a student could have both academic and criminal consequences.

Georgia can penalize online bullying in several ways

Although many people grow out of such behavior when they leave high school for college, bullying is still an issue on many college campuses. Students who engage in harassing online behavior could find themselves facing criminal charges under harassing communications laws, as Georgia takes a dim view of digital harassment.

However, in some circumstances, online statements you make to another person with the intent of frightening them could actually constitute simple assault under Georgia law.

Simple assault involves intentionally making someone fear for their safety

Many people think that assault only occurs if they put their hands on someone else, but that isn’t necessarily the case. Yes, physical attacks can constitute assault or battery depending on circumstances.

However, threatening gestures, written or verbal threats of violence and other actions intended to terrorize someone else and make them fear for their own safety could also constitute assault if the victim has a strong reaction.

If you threaten physical violence against another person online in a manner that they deem credible, allegations of assault could arise. Not only could you face action on the part of the college you attend, particularly if the victim is another student, but you could also find yourself facing criminal charges for harassing communication or even simple assault.