Pardalis & Nohavicka Criminal Law Update: When Words Cross the Line Into Crime

PARDALIS & NOHAVICKA CRIMINAL LAW UPDATE:
When Words Cross the Line Into Crime (TAKE THE CRIMINAL LAW QUIZ)

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution protects the freedom of speech; however, that protection is not unlimited. In NY it is a crime to say or write words to another that would cause them to fear harm.

In a recent case, a person was arrested in Brooklyn for writing a text message: “You ain’t low and watch when I find you, come outside, leave the kid.” The court ruled that the text message was protected as free speech by the First Amendment and was not a true threat to cause physical harm to the complainant or to harm a member of her family. The case was dismissed.

YOU BE THE JUDGE – TAKE THIS QUIZ: DO THE WORDS CROSS THE LINE INTO CRIME?

Easy Warm-up: “I’m gonna kill you, I’m gonna hurt, I’m sorry and I love, you’re a ho, a b**ch, a slut, if you ever let my baby see another man I’m gonna hurt you and no one will stop me from killing you.”

Cross the line? Answer: YES — People v Mitchell, 24 Misc 3d 1249[A], 2009 NY Slip Op 51931[U], at *1 (Sup Ct, Bronx County 2009)

Here You Go: (Answers below — NO CHEATING!)

1.”If you cared about your daughter’s well-being, about your daughter’s safety, you will drop the charges.”

2. “Don’t let me use my boxing on you.”

3. “Who are the women…If I see you with another woman I’ll f**k you up.”

4. “If you try to keep my son away from me I’m going to put a bullet in your head.”

5. “I can have you handled,” “Go kill yourself b**ch” and “You’re not worth the air to take the jump b**ch.”

6. “I’ll get you”

7. “I am going to hurt you and make you pay for what you did to me.”

Answers:

1. YES — People v Wilson

2. NO — People v Tackie

3. YES — People v Olivio

4. YES — People v Tiffany

5. YES — People v Orr

6. NO — People v. Yablov

7. NO — People v Grammatico

Hope you did okay on the test.

Here is the main decision in the People v. De Pasquale case:

http://www.courts.state.ny.us/reporter/3dseries/2017/2017_50586.htm

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