Minors are particularly vulnerable to those who perpetrate cybercrimes against them. Children simply do not have the maturity, knowledge, and/or experience to make the important decisions that could help better protect them from cybercrimes. As such, the State of Texas takes a hardline in relation to cybercrimes that are aimed at minors.
Cyber harassment refers to harassment that happens in an online space. If someone’s online actions and/or behaviors are intended to annoy, provoke, or emotionally distress someone else, those actions may qualify as cyber harassment. Cyber harassment is defined quite broadly, so it is important to consider further implications.
Some cybercrimes, such as cyberbullying, are intended to protect students. Cyberbullying refers to instances in which a student uses electronic forms of communication to harass another student and/or to instill fear in that student. In other words, cyberbullying is the electronic equivalent of the kind of face-to-face bullying that we all recognize. Texas laws against cyberbullying have a broad reach and extend to the use of virtually any electronic device to bully other students – whether or not either party is on or off the school grounds at the time.
Online Solicitation of a Minor
Online solicitation of a minor is a very serious crime that is an automatic felony for adult defendants. Such solicitation is grouped into either sexually explicit communication with a minor or soliciting a minor to meet with the intention of engaging in sexually explicit activity. The solicitation involved can occur via any electronic means and can take a variety of forms that include:
- Distributing, sharing, and/or suggesting sexually explicit communications
- Communicating in a manner that encourages a minor to meet for sexually explicit activity
Sexually Explicit Defined
For the purposes of the law, sexually explicit means any:
- Other visuals
That relates to or describes sexual conduct. The definition of sexually explicit extends to the distribution of sexually explicit content and to direct communication that is sexually explicit in nature.
Texas defines anyone who is 17 years old or younger as a minor. In other words, a student who graduates from high school at the age of 17 remains a minor until his or her 18th birthday. The goal of cybercrime laws is to protect our vulnerable youth from the undue influence and/or harassment of online perpetrators.
An Experienced Lawyer Can Help
If you are facing a Texas cybercrime involving a minor, you need the professional legal counsel of an experienced criminal lawyer, and Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen is on your side. Mr. Pritchard is a dedicated criminal lawyer with extensive experience successfully guiding cases like yours toward optimal resolutions, and he is committed to helping you. Our experienced legal team cares about your case, so please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 for more information today.