It is becoming more and more common that we see legal issues stemming from the use of cell phones or social media. It is important for parents to talk to their kids about the potential legal consequences that could arise to ensure they avoid these common legal pitfalls.
Threatening to commit any crime of violence, release a hazardous substance, or burn or damage property is a terroristic threat. It can be charged as a felony if the threat suggests the death of the individual.
You may think you are just joking around with friends, but then someone else sees the messages and takes its seriously. Several of our cases involving terroristic threats involve pictures that were misinterpreted or were intercepted by someone other than the person meant to receive it.
The easiest way to avoid this type of charge is to not make threats against others, whether its as a joke or in the heat of the moment. Don’t post that you’re going to beat someone up after school, or that someone better watch out. Don’t post pictures of firearms or airsoft guns, especially with captions that could be misinterpreted.
If you feel like you need to post something to look tough or to show someone you can’t be pushed around, then you probably shouldn’t be posting it. Post smart, post safe, and stay out of trouble.