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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 22888
Experience:  38 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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I'm having relationship problems and have sent a few texts

Customer Question

I'm having relationship problems and have sent a few texts to my partner pretending to be someone else I also phoned his wife pretending to be someone else I also made up a Facebook page and sent a message to my partners family that I existed and he was having an affair... that someone else and my partner have gone to the police I didn't mean any harm I was just upset the police have texted my throwaway cell asking me to ring them it was only a couple of messages and they weren't threatening just stating my partner was seeing 3 people at same time, should I go and admit to police what I've done but don't want him to find out
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: New Zealand Law
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

There is an act called the Harmful Digital Communications Act which says that there are principles which apply which I set out below

The communication principles are—

Principle 1

A digital communication should not disclose sensitive personal facts about an individual.

Principle 2

A digital communication should not be threatening, intimidating, or menacing.

Principle 3

A digital communication should not be grossly offensive to a reasonable person in the position of the affected individual.

Principle 4

A digital communication should not be indecent or obscene.

Principle 5

A digital communication should not be used to harass an individual.

Principle 6

A digital communication should not make a false allegation.

The penalties can be a prosecution in the District Court where:-

(2)In any case, a District Court must not grant an application from an applicant referred to insection 11(1)(a), (b), or (c) for an order under section 18 or 19 unless it is satisfied that—

(a)there has been a threatened serious breach, a serious breach, or a repeated breach of 1 or more communication principles; and

(b)the breach has caused or is likely to cause harm to an individual.

Your situation is unlikely to to come up to the serious threshold, because among other matters, it is true. If the police know this was you they may want to have a discussion so i would be careful in this situation.

There is also however a crime of using a computer system for a disnhoest purpose, in section 249 which says,

Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years who, directly or indirectly, accesses any computer system with intent, dishonestly or by deception, and without claim of right,—

(a)to obtain any property, privilege, service, pecuniary advantage, benefit, or valuable consideration; or

(b)to cause loss to any other person.

Setting up a false facebook page may come under this section. So if you want to talk to the police i would suggest you find out if they want to charge you, and if so, only speak to them with your lawyer present.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The police have left a message on the phone to contact them from North Island I'm in the South Island so not sure to ring or hope it is not serious and they won't chase it non of the messages were threatening and the Facebook messages were just saying what he was doing
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

In this situation I recommend you be careful about talking to them. I suggest that you use the phone again, and ask them why they want to talk to you and ask for reassurance about whether they want to have a discussion on a criminal basis. If they do, then I would recommend that if they want to take a statement, that you do so with your lawyer present. From your description I think it is unlikely you will be prosecuted, but they may want to warn you about further communication.

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