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Thank you for using Just Answer. I look forward to assisting you.Even though your messages are not threatening, they could be considered harassment under New York law.
Aggravated harassment in the second degree is considered more serious than a straight harassment charge. This offense is defined as acting with the intent to annoy, threaten, or alarm another person and:
This criminal offense is classified as an A Misdemeanor charge which carries a potential 1 year in jail.One or two emails likely wouldn't rise to the level of harassment. But if you are constantly sending messages, and the person or persons tell you to stop, go away, not to contact them again, etc., and you continue, you run the risk that they could file a complaint with the police which could result in arrest and prosecution.If you need clarification or additional information, please REPLY and I'll be happy to assist you further. Thank you.
The laws in Florida are essentially the same. Under Florida law, a person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks another person commits the offense of stalking, a misdemeanor of the first degree, which is punishable by up to a year in jail.And no, they don't have to tell you to stop -that's not a requirement of the law, though if they do tell you to stop, that's a clear indication not to continue sending messages. I would suggest that sending 4-6 messages or more could be considered harassment. If they haven't complained to authorities, don't keep pushing your luck. I think your doctor's idea to write down your thoughts and then not send them (delete them, or save them on your computer but never send them) is a far better choice.
They could prosecute you in New York by charging you there and getting a warrant for your arrest and extraditing you. I do think because this is a misdemeanor charge though, it's unlikely they would do so. Also, remember that just because a person files a police report doesn't necessary mean you would be charged - the final decision whether to file is left to the prosecutor's office, and they have to be be able to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Furthermore, harassment requires that they prove intent --if your intent was not to annoy, harass, alarm, etc., then all of the elements of the crime haven't been met and there can be no conviction. Intent is shown through the circumstances and what what done. Setting up a fake profile to send messages suggests that you wanted to harass them, but the other explanation could also be you didn't want your family to be able to contact you.Unfortunately, the awful things that your relatives did to you as a child do not excuse you doing something potentially criminal. Two wrongs do not make a right, as they say. And, I must stress again that the messages do not have to necessarily be threatening in nature. If you annoy, or cause alarm to them, that can be enough to be charged with harassment.