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Ask TexCrimLawyer, J.D. Your Own Question
TexCrimLawyer, J.D.
TexCrimLawyer, J.D., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Experienced in state and federal criminal litigation.
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My ex wife's husband approached me while dropping off my kids.

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My ex wife's husband approached me while dropping off my kids. He was upset because a few weeks ago I called my ex a c**t via email. He threatened me and told me if I did it again I would lose teeth. I was seated in my car and never got out. I told him I would say and call her what I want. I eventually called the police. The showed up just after he punched me twice while sitting in the car. The police interviewed both of us. After telling the police I would like to press charges the officer said he would have to arrest both of us then. He said that there was some law and that because I provoked him I would be arrested also. Is this true?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  TexCrimLawyer, J.D. replied 6 years ago.
No, that is not correct. Under the law, words can NEVER constitute an assault. Moreover, you have the Constitutionally protected right to use the words of your choice, no matter how offensive. If you ran up to her in the street and started yelling c***, you may be arrastable for disturbing the peace, but since you sent it in and e-mail, you should be OK. If the officer brings it up to you again, ask him what statute he is referring to. Also, you could try calling the District Attorney's Office, since they are the ultimate authority and get to decide who they will charge with a crime and who they won't. I hope that helps. If so, please click "Accept" (that's how I get credit for my work). Good luck.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
The officer said that because I sat in my car and provoked him by continuing to say, "I will say whatever I want." and at the end when he they were driving off he again threatened me and I said, "Well she is a c**t." and that is when he jump out of his car and came over to my car and punched me while I was still sitting in my car. The officer said I would be arrested for harrassment/provocation or something like that.
Expert:  TexCrimLawyer, J.D. replied 6 years ago.
I've copied the Oregon harassment law below. The relevant part to your situation says that a person can be guilty of harassment if: "(B) Publicly insulting such other person by abusive words or gestures in a manner intended and likely to provoke a violent response". I think what you did probably falls within that definition. If you were both charged, however, his would be more serious. Harassment is a class B misdemeanor, and assault (depending on how the DA charges it) is either a class A misdemeanor or a felony. It's a felony if the DA decides he did "serious bodily injury." One of the advantages of pressing charges is that he would most likely have to pay you restitution for the cost of having your teeth fixed. You have to decide whether or not it's worth it.
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