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Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 118110
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I have a concern regarding an incident at my son's school.

Customer Question

I have a concern regarding an incident at my son's school. He apparently made a Hotmail email account in the name of his teacher. he then sent an email to the teacher jokingly telling him he was hacked. a follow up email then said he couldn't figure out who it was. he then sent another indicated he was just joking and that it was him, my son. My son also sent a few emails to 4 of his friends in the class from that email that said see me after class, your failing. All of the individuals involved are friendly with my son and the teacher and him apparently get along great and joke a lot. Another teacher found out about this from a student and has made this a huge issue even telling my son the teacher can press charges against him. From my research, the only possible charges I could find would involve fraud and I don't see that any of the actions meet the criteria to be considered fraud. There was no injury or harm. Can you tell me your opinion? He only used the teachers name for the account. Thank you.
JA: Since laws vary from place to place, what state is this in? And just to clarify, have charges been officially filed?
Customer: Florida. No, no charges as of yet. I found out yesterday and we are meeting the principal Monday.
JA: Have you talked to a laywer yet?
Customer: I spoke with one but he was not familiar with online laws
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  PaulmoJD replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Unfortunately, what he did was identity theft and fraud and it is illegal. Actually, it would be considered identity theft, not just fraud.
Anyone who uses someone else’s personal identifying information without that person’s permission in an attempt to harass that person commits the crime of criminal use of personal identification information to harass. Using personal identifying information to harass someone is a first-degree misdemeanor. See: Florida Statutes Annotated section 817.568(4).
Also, possibly, Anyone who uses, or possess with the intent to use, falsified or fictitious personal identification information in order to commit a fraud commits the crime of counterfeit or fictitious personal identification information. This crime is a third-degree felony, but depending on the circumstances it can also be charged as a second-degree felony, first-degree felony, or a life-felony. See: Florida Statutes Annotated section 817.568(9).
So, what can start as a joke many times can still have serious criminal consequences, even though there was no malicious intent. Malicious or criminal intent is not required for those criminal offenses.