As luck would have it I am also from New York. The charge here if it were brought would be Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree.
It is when you harass someone via a telephone, computer
or some other electronic means. I have linked you to the statute, so that you can see it for yourself and read what the DA would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt to convict you of the charges. It is a class A misdemeanor
which would carry a maximum of a year of jail time and/or a fine, and the other person would get a permanent order of protection making you subject to an arrest if you bothered him/her ever again while the order was still in effect.
That said, as you can see, in order to meet the harassment standard you have to intend to annoy, threaten or alarm someone by the communication, and the ADA must be able to prove that intent beyond a reasonable doubt. From your description here, when you found out she wasn't receptive to your communication and she asked you to leave her alone, you said you were sorry and then had no further communication with her. They would also have to prove that the messages came from you, and just the fact that your mobile phone was used, would not do that without more.
I don't know whether you two know each other, precisely what alarmed her or whether in your apology you indicated that you still wanted to stay in touch with him/her, but taking what you've said at face value, and assuming that you still have your copies of the communication, this may not rise to the level of harassment, if charges are ever brought.
Changing your phone number would not be enough to stop this person from attempting to press charges against you. The police and the DA would have the subpoena power to get your old phone records and locate you. Understand, however, that if they do bring charges against you, that doesn't mean you'd be convicted of the charges or even that it's a particularly good case against you.
To bring charges against you, all that the police need is probable cause
, which is just a reasonable belief that a crime may have been committed and that you may have had something to do with it. The words of a credible complainant would be enough for a finding of probable cause because probable cause does not require very much evidence. From there however, a great deal of evidence is necessary for a conviction, as I have indicated above.
I think that if this person doesn't know enough information to find you that chances are this episode will go no further. However in the unlikely event that you do hear from the police and they want you to talk about this incident, do not discuss what you did or did not do. You have a right not to incriminate yourself and any statement you'd make to the police about this can be used against you. So just tell them that you want to speak to a lawyer and your lawyer will get back to them. And then go and consult with one. You won't have to hire a lawyer unless you are charged, but you do want to find one just in case. He or she will likely tell you not to talk to the police or will want to go with you if you do speak to them so that your rights are protected.
I don't want to scare you. Typically, if this charge ended up in court
, if you had no criminal record
, it would very likely be reduced to a regular harassment in the second degree
, which is a violation and not a crime, and which would give the other party an order of protection while still allowing you to honestly say you'd never been convicted of a crime. At the end of a year if there were no further problems, the case would be sealed and the violation wouldn't appear on your record.
So cutting to the chase:
1) although they can charge you with this despite your change of phone numbers, it is not a great case for the state from what I see and you have evidence you did leave her alone.
2) if you were charged, you should be able to come out of this without a criminal record.
Just don't make the mistake of thinking that the police are out to help you if they call you and act chummy and friendly and ask what went on here. Keep in mind that when you hear on TV and movies that when you talk to the police anything you say can be used against you, it's really true.
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