New Michigan law targets cyberbullying; offenders could face jail time
LANSING, Mich. — A new law that targets cyberbullying went into effect in Michigan on Wednesday.
According to Public Act 457, the act is now classified as a misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 93 days in jail or a fine of $500.
Anyone who continuously engages in a pattern of harassing or intimidating behavior that causes serious injury to the victim could face a felony charge and serve up to 5 years and a $5,000 fine. If the cyberbullying leads to the death of the victim, then the offender could serve up to 10 years and a $10,000 fine.
The law defines cyberbullying as:
- The message or statement is intended to place a person in fear of bodily harm or death and expresses an intent to commit violence against the person.
- The message or statement is posted with the intent to communicate a threat or with knowledge that it will be viewed as a threat.