Is Cyberbullying a Crime in the State of Maryland?

As technology continues to become more intertwined with our everyday life, we’ll continue to notice more and more instances of conventional crimes manifested in the digital world. These days, cyberattacks, identity theft and online predators are becoming commonplace. Naturally, bullying has also made its way to the web. Under the following three statutes, cyberbullying can be considered a crime in the state of Maryland.


Maryland defines harassment as any public malicious engagement with the intention to harass or annoy another party. Since the internet is indeed a public space, this legislation applies to interactions that take place in person and online. If multiple requests to stop the harassment were provided and the harassment serves no legal purpose, it is considered a misdemeanor crime. The penalties for such a conviction include a fine of up to $500, up to 90 days of jail time or both.


A conviction for stalking is also a misdemeanor crime, but it comes with the potential for steeper penalties than harassment. Stalking offenders could face a fine of up to $5,000 and a maximum of five years of prison time. This is largely due to the implications of the crime. At worst, harassment usually leads to discomfort and annoys the victim. Stalking, on the other hand, can make victims question their safety and reasonably fear for assault, injury or even death.

Misuse of Electronic Mail

Maryland’s laws regarding the misuse of electronic mail and harassment are actually slightly intertwined. The crime of misusing electronic mail effectively takes place when individuals use email as a means to harass one or more individuals by sending lewd, lascivious or obscene material. Another act that falls within the misuse of electronic mail is using a digital device to inflict emotional distress on a minor. Those convicted of misuse of electronic mail are subject to a fine of up to $500 and a maximum of one year in jail.

Protect Yourself from a Cyberbullying Conviction with Elizabeth Anu Lawrence Law

Convictions of any kind can damage your future reputation, financial security, employment or housing opportunities, and rights as a citizen; having strong legal defense can help you in dismissing your charges, exploring your best options, or representing you in court.  The Law Office of Elizabeth A. Lawrence offers high-quality legal representation, personal attention, and professionalism to help defend those who need it most.  Click here or call (410) 986-0088 to consult with an experienced attorney today.

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