For weeks now, news outlets and social media alike have been swamped with stories of people dressed as creepy clowns engaging in questionable activities. In some cases, the perpetrators have reportedly attempted to lure children into vehicles or taken part in other disruptive behaviors.
A more significant portion, however, have taken to the Internet and posted videos of themselves dressed as clowns and engaging in cyberbullying and other threatening behavior. This and worse has been happening, which now has the whole country and even the world embroiled in a confused and renewed fear of clowns.
Reports of creepy clowns have been popping up all across the country in recent months. They started in Greenville County, South Carolina, in mid-August, quickly began appearing in Florida, and then spread to thirty-six other states and even other continents.
There have been very few actual arrests, and many reports have turned out to hoaxes, but public unease is mounting. Most authorities are more worried that gun owners will begin acting as vigilantes against anyone dressed as a clown during the time leading up to Halloween.
These hoaxers and delinquents are causing the populace to make light of people that have been accused of crimes such as stalking, harassment, and especially the cyber versions of these. People simply accused of cyberstalking or cyber-harassment can have their lives destroyed, regardless of guilt or intent.
Work and school are the standard venues of cyber-harassment and cyberbullying, but being digital, it often leads back home. These charges are applied when an individual uses the Internet to harass, threaten, or maliciously embarrass.
Cyber and Regular Bullying
The classification for most of these crimes depends on the severity and context of the circumstances, but they generally fall into the categories below:
Harassment is a class A or B misdemeanor when the defendant intentionally communicates an obscene proposal, threatens, conveys a false report, or makes a call or sends a message designed to harass, annoy, alarm, embarrass, or torment another.
Online impersonation is a felony or misdemeanor when the defendant impersonates another person and acts with intent to harm, defraud, or intimidate. It also applies when someone creates a webpage or sends messages in the guise of someone else.
Disruptive activities is a class B misdemeanor involving the threat or use of force to obstruct people from moving through a public area, the prevention of others from participating in public activities, or the obstruction or restraint of a person from entering or leaving a school or other public building.
Experienced Austin Criminal Defense Attorneys
If you have been accused of any of these crimes, you need to defend yourself. These charges are very serious and could affect you for years down the line. Please contact a capable defense lawyer from Tillman Braniff, PLLC for free case evaluation and advice on how to proceed.
Give us a call at 512-236-0505 or fill out the form below to get started on your case.