How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Zoey_ JD Your Own Question

Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 17313
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
18321761
Type Your Criminal Law Question Here...
Zoey_ JD is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I was recently arrested for making terroristic threats by phone

Customer Question

I was recently arrested for making terroristic threats by phone on a collection agency. That night in jail I talked to a detective and admitted everything and apologized for my actions. I even completed an apology letter for the prosecuting attorney, which he even admitted might help.I was released from the city jail the next day, but they said a warrant still may be issued up to 1 year from the date I was released. I didn't go to the collection agency or actually do anything other than the phone threats and definitely don't plan to anything like this again. I think they were trying to teach me a lesson and by keeping me locked up that night and having no idea what was going to happen I was scared. So do u think they might have let me go to see if I was planning to do something and then file charges or is it just so busy these days that I should still expect something in the mail? It's been over a month now.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

Hello Jacustomer,

If the police and the prosecutor thought that you were a legitimate threat to society, they would have kept you in jail, brought you before the judge and arraigned you on these charges. While I cannot guarantee it because the state does have the year to go forward should it wish to, I don't think they plan on prosecuting you for this action.

Generally, when the police don't make an immediate arrest it's to do more investigation to make sure of their evidence. Here, however, there's no need of further investigation. You confessed to the police that you committed the act and wrote a letter to that effect as well. Also they already had you in hand. Why let you go in the first place when they had a signed confession?

Just avoid doing anything further that puts you on your police's radar screen. That is, stay out of trouble and I think you'll be fine.

Incidentally, collections agencies can be very tough to deal with and they like to harass people, which makes it sometimes hard to keep your cool. But they are not allowed to be over aggressive, to harass you for payment, or to threaten legal action or arrest. There are all sorts of consumer laws that protect you from an obnoxious debt collector. So if there's a next time, with this agency or any other, just get the name of the company and tell them that you are going to be contacting the Federal Trade Commission because they are in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. And then report them as you promised to FTC.gov. They can be fined $1,000
for every improper collection attempt.

Good luck to you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for taking the time to answer my question. That first part sounds pleasing to the mind, but the last part about contacting the collection agency or letting them know I could contact the ftc is poor advice. The police officer who was on duty that released me gave me heads up and said "Under no circumstances are u to have any contact with the collection agency". I said not even if I decide to pay them. He said "no they could turn it around on u and say u were making more threats". I liked most of your answer, I will have to rate accordingly, however. Sorry.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

Hello Christopher,

I think you misunderstood what my intentions were. I did NOT recommend calling the collection agency and making additional threats.

I was making sure you knew what rights you had in the event you are harrassed by this agency again or any other. You can look at the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act and see exactly what I mean. Collection agencies are not entitled to harass or threaten you or try to bully you into making a payment.

Here is a wonderful overview of the act put out by the FTC of how to correctly deal with overaggressive collection agencies. (see link) Here, for that matter is a link to the entire act. You have far more legal rights here than any collection agency does. (see link)

Your police officer may know his criminal law, but he clearly knows no consumer law. No, you can't reach out to these people to bother them further. But yes, absolutely, IF it was they who hounded you in an impermissable manner in the first place, and that's what caused you to lose your temper and threaten them, you are entitled to call the FTC and report their behavior. You do not have to say anything further to the company to do that, it is your right as a consumer to do it, and you cannot be arrested for exercising that right. Note that I said IF. If the agency's behavior was in keeping with the law, you certainly don't want to file a frivolous report.

I also assume that the officer isn't suggesting that you don't pay them if you indeed do owe this debt. That would be unwise and could get you sued. Just don't enclose a letter with the check.

I stand by both parts of my answer. Please consider re-rating me now that I have explained what I meant.

Have a good weekend.

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Your Expert advise has provided insight on a difficult situation. Thank you so much for the prompt response. I will definitely recommend your website to my friends. Norma Pensacola, FL
< Last | Next >
  • Your Expert advise has provided insight on a difficult situation. Thank you so much for the prompt response. I will definitely recommend your website to my friends. Norma Pensacola, FL
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Fran L.

    JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor

    Satisfied Customers:

    8061
    18 yrs of NYC public defense. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/retiredlawyer/2012-6-6_19326_franL.64x64.jpg Fran L.'s Avatar

    Fran L.

    JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor

    Satisfied Customers:

    8061
    18 yrs of NYC public defense. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    2079
    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/NA/nathanmoorelaw/2011-5-31_21375_headshotbig.64x64.jpg Nate's Avatar

    Nate

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1625
    Over 10 years of criminal defense practice.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/LA/LawTalk/2012-6-6_17379_LawTalk.64x64.JPG LawTalk's Avatar

    LawTalk

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1434
    30 years legal experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PH/philip.simmons/2012-6-7_161915_BIGPhilipSimmons.64x64.jpg P. Simmons's Avatar

    P. Simmons

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1418
    16 yrs. of experience including criminal law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/marshadjd/2009-6-1_194320_marshajd.jpg Marsha411JD's Avatar

    Marsha411JD

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1380
    Licensed attorney with 27 yrs. exp. in criminal law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RO/RobertJDFL/2012-6-6_175352_7538220120606.64x64.jpg RobertJDFL's Avatar

    RobertJDFL

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1300
    Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
 
 
 
Chat Now With A Criminal Lawyer
Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD
9736 Satisfied Customers
Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.