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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27478
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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If a person in the state of Missouri is sending harrasment

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If a person in the state of Missouri is sending harrasment calls or texts or emails to a person living in Tennessee what can that person living in Tennessee do about it under the law lets say?
Hello Jacustomer,

A big problem is that the law hasn't kept up with the crime caused by advanced technology. While harassment/stalking/cyberbullying are all crimes you shouldn't have to tolerate, the Federal government does not usually get involved in relatively small squabbles, and the state police cannot make an arrest outside of their jurisdiction.

As a result, when the Tennessean goes to his local police, all too often the response he will get is, "We can't do anything about this." It's where the crime is being committed that controls who would handle this case. In your hypothetical, unless the Tennessee police were willing to contact the Missouri authorities for you and ask them to do something about this, you would have to go to Missouri (they are not going to arrest a missouri resident on the strength of a long distance phone call. You could be anybody).

While there, you could get the charges pressed and sign any paperwork that was necessary for you to get the matter moved forward and you could also get a MIssouri protective order. With one in hand, you could file that with your own police back in Tennessee, and the order will protect you where you live. A violation of the order would get the person arrested by the Missouri police in Missouri, because it is there order.
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.

In this case is not hypothetical and it has happen. The person in Tenn. has charged me living in Missouri with the crime. I was contacted by the law officier already and admitted i sent the grapic pics me not knowing this was such a serious event but he the law told me it was very serious and a felony is what this now is. He told me he didnt no yet how it would be handled but would contact me in about a week. I have never been in any trouble with the law on anything in my life now im scared to death my question is what can I now expect to happen to me. What kind of sentence would fit this terrible crime i have put myself in???

I don't know why you thought it a good idea to speak to a police officer. You were not required to speak to him at all, and what you did amounts to a confession and will tie your lawyer's hands when it comes to a plea bargain or a trial.

You should start lookiing for a lawyer, and you should say absolutely nothing further about this case to any law enforcement officer unless your lawyer says it's a good idea to talk to him and goes with you to prevent more dmage to you. You don't have to hire hin/her unless you are formally charged, but you would want to have some names to call all the same so that in an emergency situation, if one occurred, you could reach out quickly.

I still see nothing in your law that would make this a felony charge if this is your first offense and all recipients were over 18. I have looked at your state's harassment statutes, your sex offenses and your obscenity laws. So you would have to tell me what section of the law you are being charged with, and then I can tell you the sentence. The officer also may have just been trying to scare you as he didn't even know if he was going to have you charged or not.

But what's important here now is that you say nothing further to anyone about this, and also have nothing to do with the complainant or her son right now. If they are going to cool down and not want this prosecuted it will be better if you leave them alone.
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