Today, interpersonal communication is more accessible and more instantaneous than it has ever been at any other point in human history. This evolution has changed the course of humanity in a plethora of positive ways, allowing vital information and education to spread at much faster rates than ever before. However, it also enables communications taken from separate physical locations to take place in an unprecedentedly impulsive manner.
When you send a text message or an online direct message, there is no waiting for the phone to ring. There is no assessing the tone of the recipient's voice or the context of their words. Before you know it, you can find yourself in a situation where a conversation has escalated to the point where you've been accused of harassment and threatened with legal action for sending unwanted messages.
What Types of Text Messages Constitute Harassment?
There are many different scenarios in which contact via text messages can be considered harassment. If the messages being sent contains offensive language, threats of violence, or are sent in the middle of the night, they may constitute harassment. If the content in the messages is of a sexual nature, included unwanted flirting or photos of nudity, they may constitute sexual harassment. Messages that persist after the other person has requested that you stop contacting them may even be considered cyberstalking.
Which Legal Actions Can an Alleged Victim Take?
When a person feels that they are being harassed or stalked through text messages, they may attempt to defend themselves by threatening to take legal action. While it is up to each individual whether or not they follow through on these threats or not, they are not empty. Depending on the content and context of the text messages, criminal charges of harassment, sexual harassment, or cyberstalking are real possibilities. There is also the possibility of a restraining order or an order of protection being ordered against you, either as part of a criminal case or as a standalone civil court order.
What Are the Potential Consequences for the Alleged Perpetrator?
The consequences of sending harassing or unwanted text messages can be significant. If you are charged and convicted of harassment, sexual harassment, or cyberstalking, you will face the possibility of jail time, hefty fines, and legal fees. If a restraining order or an order of protection is entered against you, you will be under strict requirements to cease contact of any kind with the alleged victim. If contact occurs, even as a response, you will face additional criminal charges that hold separate consequences.
How the Lento Law Firm Can Help
If you have been accused of sending threatening or unwanted text messages, it is imperative that you get ahead of the allegations by speaking to a criminal defense attorney immediately. By being proactive, you can minimize the damage your reputation and future may be facing. Call attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686 or schedule a consultation online.