(WXYZ) — Michigan's new cyberbullying law will go into effect on March 27.
- Cyberbullying threats increase online, new bill aims to stop it in Michigan
- Michigan ranks ninth among top 10 states with bullying problems
Public Act 457 of 2018, sponsored by Rep. Pete Lucido of Shelby Township, formally defines cyberbullying as a misdemeanor.
It states that cyberbullying is a crime punishable by 93 days in jail or a fine of up to $500.
Addtionally, a person who engages in a continued pattern of harassing or intimidating behavior and causes serious injury to the victim is guilty of a felony punishable by up to five years and a $5,000 fine.
A "pattern of repeated harassment" is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. The pattern means a a series of two or more separate noncontinuous acts of harassing or intimidating behavior.
According to the law, cyberbullying includes posting a message or statement in a public media forum about any other person if both of the following apply:
- 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 intended to communicate a threat or with knowledge that it will be viewed as a threat.
For more information on the law, click here.