Internet Threats on Campus
The use of technology has become so widespread that it has become rare for anyone to not be a part of at least one social media site. This interaction usually occurs daily, if not much more than that. It is part of a daily routine and very important to many students. The freedom of the internet allows many chances for people to say things that can land them, or other students, in trouble.
A student may believe that their online social life is somehow disconnected from their real life interactions, but in reality, both are a public atmosphere. That means that an argument online that leads to outright threats is treated the same by authorities as a face to face argument that leads to threats. It doesn’t matter if a threat is made in person, through a phone or through a computer. A criminal threat is illegal in every state. An online threat through social media can suddenly place a student’s academic future in peril.
For those who have been accused, it is important to be aware of the important aspects that constitute a criminal threat.
Protected Speech or Illegal Threats?
Expression of individuals online is protected and valued. Students can disagree and voice their convictions, sometimes in rude or angry ways, but it doesn’t mean that the student is doing anything but expressing themselves. If a student is convicted of a threat, there are general questions that will be asked to come to that conclusion.
- Who or what was threatened?
- Was your threat credible?
- What did you mean by your threat?
- Did you intend to carry out your threat?
Did you express something vague like “anyone who messes with me is going to get it”? Or did you detail a specific person or thing, along with a specific set of actions and it is believable that you would follow through it? A criminal threat must have all these elements to be considered illegal. Your intent on following through with a specific threat will be the most important factor in your conviction.
How Can Internet Threats Affect Me on Campus?
Internet threats are taken very seriously by schools. A student may even face local authorities depending on the nature of the threat. Students will face disciplinary actions from the college administration that can include suspension or even expulsion.
Manchester & Associates Defense
Contact Manchester & Associates today for help if you have been accused of making internet threats on campus. The hearings and possible criminal conviction can be overwhelming and even terrifying for a student. An experienced attorney can counsel and prepare a case that can lessen or even eliminate disciplinary actions and criminal charges.