If a verbal threat is made over the phone, can charges be pressed?

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If a verbal threat is made over the phone, can charges be pressed?

The party making the threat is 3 hours away?

Asked on April 18, 2011 under Criminal Law, Texas

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Making threats against someone is against the law.  This is true whether in person, on-line, or over the phone.  The police in your jurisdiction need to be notified.  Yet, proving that a verbal threat was made may prove problematic.  If it was overheard by someone that may constitute proof; a recording would also be the best evidence.  However the problem with the latter is that the recording must be legally made.  In some states ("1-party consent" states) as long as 1 party to the conversation knows that it is being recorded the consent requirement is met; in other states ("all-party consent" states), every party to the conversation must give their permission to be recorded.  And if you live in a 1-party consent state, if the call is coming from an all-party consent sate, all parties must agree to the recording.  Since you really have several complex and technical legal issues to be addressed here, you need to consult directly with a criminal law attorney in your area.


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