The development and evolution of various social media platforms has allowed teens and pre-teens to spend more time interacting through the use of short text messages, images, and video. However, with all the positive applications these programs offer, there seems to be a rising occurrence of juvenile crimes being committed on or through the use of social media.
Cyber Bullying … and Worse
Often it is reported that what started as “harmless” teasing turned into something far more serious and resulted in something tragic. Other times, juvenile offenders use social media to broadcast their actions as means of bragging to their peers. Regardless of the scenario, when juvenile crimes find their way onto social media, they can quickly go viral and spread across the country, increasing the notoriety of the actions. Some recent examples of this trend include:
- Recently, in a far western suburb of Chicago, a 13-year-old boy was charged with a hate crime after making threats and statements of a racial nature to a classmate using a gaming system that was connected to the Internet. This was the second such incident in the area within the past several months; a separate juvenile had previously posted a threatening video on social media and made racial taunts targeting an African-American boy in the community.
- In Detroit, a video was posted online showing one boy beating another while several other junior high school students stood by and watched.
- In Texas, a family is pushing legislators for stronger cyber bullying laws after their 18-year-old daughter committed suicide following months of bullying and harassment on social media. At this time, in that state, online harassment and bullying is considered a misdemeanor.
What many juvenile offenders do not seem to understand is that with nearly all online activity, once a statement or photo is posted, or once a video is uploaded online, it exists forever. In all cases, these electronic records of a juvenile’s actions will be used against them during the adjudication process.
Protect Your Family With an Aggressive Will County Juvenile Defense Attorney
When your son or daughter finds themselves in trouble with the law, it can disrupt an entire family. Whether it is your child or that of a friend or family member who makes an error in judgment or gets caught up in a serious matter, it is critical to locate and retain a knowledgeable and experienced Joliet juvenile criminal defense lawyer with a thorough understanding of the Illinois juvenile justice system. The Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba provide every juvenile client with the help they need to not only understand what is happening, but all possible options that are available to them. Contact our offices today at 815-740-4025 to schedule a free consultation.