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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 16784
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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2 detective just came to my home looking for my daughter who

Customer Question

2 detective just came to my home looking for my daughter who wasnt home. I asked whats the charge, aggravated harassment. They say she called this woman who had an affair with her bfriend, father of her child. She also called her job and made them aware of who they have working there. They said its an A misdemeanor and she will get a desk appearance ticket. She and I will go to the precinct on Monday. My daughter said she posted stuff about their affair on facebook, called her job, emailed proof to her ex husband, son etc. hat do they have to prove to prove harassment? I think she was just trying to inform people of this womans character, but Im no lawyer.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.
Hello,

What you don't want your daughter to do is to cooperate with the police. She has a Constitutional right to keep her mouth shut and make the state prove that this crime occurred beyond a reasonable doubt. If she goes to the police, she will make a statement which she will sign, and it will come in as a confession and be used against her.

Saying nothing when you are a suspect or a defendant can never hurt you. Speaking to the authorities, unless you are present with a lawyer, can cost her dearly and hamstring her lawyer when he has to clean up the mess she made.

Aggravated harassment is an a misdemeanor and if she wanted to dispose of it, she could likely get it reduced to a straight harassment, which is a violation and not a crime. Here is the section of the NY Penal law for aggravated harassment. As you can see, the DA will have to prove that her intention was to annoy, threaten, harass or alarm this person. Arguably, the defendant would find these actions very alarming, so it's all the more important that your daughter keep her mouth shut rather than admit to the authorities that she made these calls at all.

If you have made an appointment with the police, break it unless she can show up there with a lawyer (who will probably tell her not to talk to the police at all).
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 16784
Experience: Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
Zoey_ JD and 9 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She cant afford an attorney. Can she get a public defender present while shes being processed? If yes, how?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.
Hi David,

When she shows up for her court date, she can plead not guilty at her arraignment and then ask the judge to appoint her a public defender. She can't, unfortunately, get one before she appears in court, but if she's indigent, the judge will give her a free lawyer when she asks for it.

If she has to show up to be printed and photographed she must NOT discuss this matter with the police. She can discuss only her pedigree information (name, address, date of birth, etc. She must not, as I have indicated above, make any statement as to the incident for which she is charged She can just tell the police that she wants to wait until she has a lawyer before discussing this case with anyone else, and she should stick to that.
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 16784
Experience: Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
Zoey_ JD and 9 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm going with her on Tuesday . The det adis they have her on tape threatening her the day she fought her with her bfriend. I guess she was upset. I asked her what she said and she doesn't remember. She can't plead guilty to anything as it would jeopardize any custody battle she may have with her bfriend. They have a 9 month old child together. She's considering leaving him and staying with me. What's worse case if she's found guilty ? She had a minor infraction 14 yrs ago that was dismissed . Det said to me she'll get a dat. So I'm assuming he ran her for priors already .
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.
Hi David,

The detectives could be lying about their evidence. They do that all the time to phish for information to help the DA get a conviction. The US Supreme Court says that police can lie and use deceptive and coercive means to get information about crime. One way they do it is to make the suspect think they have the evidence they need already. That's why it's important simply not to discuss anything having to do with the incident at all.

Worst case scenario here would be a conviction for the aggravated harrassment, 3 years of misdmeanor probation and the complainant would get a permanent order of protection keeping your daughter from having any contact with her.

Generally, however, the DA will make an offer below the charge, so the actual picture is likely going to be rosier. What the complainant likely wants most is the protective order. If so, the DA might be inclined to reduce this to a violation, which would not be a crime and which could be sealed in a year if there's no further difficulty with the complainant.

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