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.”
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.