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Triangulos
04-05-2008, 09:07 PM
If someone is sending hate mail including thinly veiled threats to kill their victim, and they ultimately get arrested for it, by what exact words would the arresting officer refer to the offence?

So far I'm thinking of "I'm placing you under arrest for conspiracy to commit murder" or "sending threatening material" or some variation on "intimidation" or "abuse", but if there is an exact phrase that would be used then I'd like to get it right.

(The story is set in the US -- specifically West Virginia if that makes a difference.)

Thanks,

T.

MarkEsq
04-05-2008, 09:13 PM
I am not sure about W. Va., but in Texas the charge that springs to mind is "terroristic threat."

Here is the statute:

Sec. 22.07. TERRORISTIC THREAT. (a) A person commits an offense if he threatens to commit any offense involving violence to any person or property with intent to:
(1) cause a reaction of any type to his threat by an official or volunteer agency organized to deal with emergencies;
(2) place any person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury; or
(3) prevent or interrupt the occupation or use of a building; room; place of assembly; place to which the public has access; place of employment or occupation; aircraft, automobile, or other form of conveyance; or other public place; or
(4) cause impairment or interruption of public communications, public transportation, public water, gas, or power supply or other public service.
(b) An offense under Subdivision (1) or (2) of Subsection (a) is a Class B misdemeanor. An offense under Subdivision (3) of Subsection (a) is a Class A misdemeanor. An offense under Subdivision (4) of Subsection (a) is a felony of the third degree.

Tsu Dho Nimh
04-05-2008, 09:57 PM
If someone is sending hate mail including thinly veiled threats to kill their victim, and they ultimately get arrested for it, by what exact words would the arresting officer refer to the offence?

So far I'm thinking of "I'm placing you under arrest for conspiracy to commit murder" or "sending threatening material" or some variation on "intimidation" or "abuse", but if there is an exact phrase that would be used then I'd like to get it right.

(The story is set in the US -- specifically West Virginia if that makes a difference.)

Thanks,

T.

Look up West Virgina laws. In AZ it would be both a state and a federal (for the mails) offense: threats of bodily harm, stalking, and using the mails to commit a crime.

Siddow
04-06-2008, 01:29 AM
In West Virginia, wouldn't the offender just be shot? :D

I think there would have to be overt threats in order for the police to do anything. And I agree, it would be terroristic threats, and using the mail system would bring a federal charge.

StephanieFox
04-06-2008, 01:48 AM
Not West Virginia...you're thinkin' Texas.

Rabe
04-06-2008, 02:40 AM
What you're thinking of is 'harassment'. And most likely what the officer would be saying is "I have a warrant for your arrest" since it most likely would have been reported, turned over to the DA's office, then submitted for warrant if the DA decided to prosecute.

Texas 22.07(a)(2) seems completely out of place with the rest of that statute doesn't it?

Rabe...

chevbrock
04-06-2008, 04:31 AM
Could multiple messages also attract charges of stalking? I dunno - see below!

ajkjd01
04-06-2008, 04:32 AM
Might also be Aggravated Menacing or Menacing by Stalking. In Ohio those are misdemeanors. They probably wouldn't upgrade to felony without an overt act beyond words.

That said, do you live in that area? Know any cops/prosecutors? Take 'em out to lunch and pick their brains!

FinbarReilly
04-06-2008, 06:16 AM
1) Federal prosecution would nail him for harassment.
If it was actual hate mail, then it would add to the charges. In this case, the FBI would most likely be the arresting authority, and most likely to just let the person know that they are being arrested. Miranda rights would apply.

2) Because it is through the mail, it's out of the normal jurisdiction of the local police, unless the envelopes are being stuffed into the mailbox. If that's the case, then a restraining order would be the first step, and then arresting the person for breaking the restraining order (they need to prove harassment, and breaking the restraining order would be the easiest way to prove that).

If it helps...
FR

raelwv
04-06-2008, 06:34 AM
In WV, this would most likely be a federal prosecution if the threats were sent via the mail. I've had a couple of clients charged/convicted of doing similar things. The statute is 18 USC 876 and is technically called "mailing threatening communications."

Triangulos
04-06-2008, 05:50 PM
That said, do you live in that area? Know any cops/prosecutors? Take 'em out to lunch and pick their brains!

No, I live a long way from WV, not even in the US! It's the twists and turns of the plot which have taken events there, that's all. :)

Thanks to all who replied, I should be able to make it sound pretty authentic now.

T.

Rabe
04-06-2008, 07:16 PM
Could multiple messages also attract charges of stalking? I dunno - see below!

In Nevada, yes.

But, most likely the charge would come back to harassment.

Rabe...