Michelle Suskauer of Suskauer Law Firm, recognize that current cyberbullying statues are not in line with the U.S. Constitution right to “Freedom of Speech”. Several states (including Florida) passed laws that made cyberbullying a crime. Tormenting, threatening, harassing, humiliating or embarrassing others online may not be the noblest application of free speech, but it is protected speech nonetheless.
The law as it is currently written outlaws any communication (in interstate or foreign commerce) “with the intent to coerce, intimidate, harass, or cause substantial emotional distress to a person, using electronic means to support severe, repeated and hostile behavior.” Those convicted face a fine, up to two years in prison or both. Under this language, a recently divorced couple could be criminally charged for saying unkind things about one another online. In fact, the statue is not clear whether the messages would have to be sent directly to the other person, or if a message to a third party would be sufficient to break the law, as long as it was leaked and caused substantial emotional distress. In addition, one may argue the vagueness of “substantial emotional distress”.
Michelle Suskauer is AV-rated by Martindale Hubbell. She will provide individualized attention, empathy, and pragmatic advice to those who are accused and in need of strong legal counsel. Attorney Michelle Suskauer is a respected and nationally known legal analyst, often consulted by local and national media regarding criminal defense cases, case law and strategy. This experience and her relationships with the media allow Michelle to minimize her client’s exposure while making sure her client’s story is told. They are former public defenders and career defense attorneys who have handled many cases involving all types of criminal offenses in Palm Beach County for nearly two decades.