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Lawmoe, Lawyer (JD)
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If someone was to send a offensive email to someone else while

Resolved Question:

If someone was to send a offensive email to someone else while pretending to be a fake person, how much trouble can they get into in Iowa?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Lawmoe replied 4 years ago.

The answer may depend on the precise nature of the communication and how it occurred.

 

A potential charge would be criminal harassment. Under Iowa Criminal Code 708.7, a person commits harassment when, with intent to intimidate, annoy, or alarm another person, the person does any of the following:

 

(1) Communicates with another by telephone, telegraph, writing, or via electronic communication without legitimate purpose and in a manner likely to cause the other person annoyance or harm.

 

(2) Places a simulated explosive or simulated incendiary device in or near a building, vehicle, airplane, railroad engine or railroad car, or boat occupied by another person.

 

(3) Orders merchandise or services in the name of another, or to be delivered to another, without the other person's knowledge or consent.

 

(4) Reports or causes to be reported false information to a law enforcement authority implicating another in some criminal activity, knowing that the information is false, or reports the alleged occurrence of a criminal act, knowing the act did not occur.

b. A person commits harassment when the person, purposefully and without legitimate purpose, has personal contact with another person, with the intent to threaten, intimidate, or alarm that other person. As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires, "personal contact" means an encounter in which two or more people are in visual or physical proximity to each other. "Personal contact" does not require a physical touching or oral communication, although it may include these types of contacts.

 

2. A person commits harassment in the first degree when the person commits harassment involving a threat to commit a forcible felony, or commits harassment and has previously been convicted of harassment three or more times under this section or any similar statute during the preceding ten years.

 

Harassment in the first degree is an aggravated misdemeanor.

 

3. A person commits harassment in the second degree when the person commits harassment involving a threat to commit bodily injury, or commits harassment and has previously been convicted of harassment two times under this section or any similar statute during the preceding ten years.

 

Harassment in the second degree is a serious misdemeanor.

 

4. Any other act of harassment is harassment in the third degree. Harassment in the third degree is a simple misdemeanor.

 

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
There was a purpose to the email, but there was a lot of insults and offensive language. To get a guy to leave me alone I created a fake email account, and told the guy that I was a friend and that the real person had died, and threw in some insults. The guy sent an equally bad email back.

I talked to a sheriff looking for the fake guy this morning, and told him I didnt know who the fake ID was, but assured them that I was alive. Having a background in computer science I know they can get my IP address from the email and call the ISP and find out who I am. Any advice to not make this worse would be great.
Expert:  Lawmoe replied 4 years ago.

You should make no more statements to the police. You are correct that they may contact the company hosting the email address and seek information on the IP address and the person opening that account. Depending on the statements made, you may face harassment charges or, potentially, more serious terroristic threats if threats were in fact made that would reasonably put the person in fear of harm.

 

Lawmoe, Lawyer (JD)
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 2415
Experience: Lawyer with 19 years of litigation experience in state and federal court systems.
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Lawmoe
Lawmoe
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Lawyer with 19 years of litigation experience in state and federal court systems.