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How Social Media Can Lead to Criminal Charges in the State of Texas

In the state of Texas, cyberbullying is defined as a person who uses any means of electronic communications in order to engage in bullying or intimidation of another person. As a result, messages and posts on widely-used social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, can constitute cyberbullying, which can lead to various criminal charges in the state of Texas.

For example, harassment is either a Class A or Class B misdemeanor under Texas law, depending on the circumstances. Harassment occurs when an individual intentionally communicates an obscene proposal, threatens, conveys a false report, or calls or sends a message that is intended to harass, annoy, alarm, embarrass, or torment another individual. Certain online activities, including messages and posts on social media, clearly could constitute harassment under Texas law.

How Social Media Can Lead to Criminal Charges in the State of Texas

A more serious criminal offense under Texas law may occur if an individual knowingly solicits a minor under the age of 17 via the internet, text messaging, or other electronic systems in order to meet in person for the purposes of engaging in sexual behavior. Again, sending these sorts of message through Facebook or Instagram definitely could result in a criminal charge of Online Solicitation of a Minor, which is a third degree felony, or, if the minor is under the age 14, a second degree felony. As a result, even if you think that you are corresponding with an adult online, you should be wary. If it turns out that you really are corresponding with a minor who has lied about his or her age, you could be asking for trouble. While there are certain defenses to charges such as these, it is best to simply avoid the situation altogether, if possible.

The criminal defense lawyers of Peek & Toland pride themselves on aggressively advocating on behalf of those individuals who are facing criminal prosecution. We will obtain the necessary evidence on your behalf, build a strong defense in your case, and work with you to create the strategy to best handle your case. It is our goal to help you put your criminal charges behind you and move on with your life. Contact our office today and learn how we can help.

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