Can You Be Prosecuted for Text Messages?

Photo Of Handcuffs

In recent news, a 20-year-old Massachusetts woman was charged with involuntary manslaughter, after sending text messages that a jury eventually found contributed to the suicide of her teenage boyfriend. Her boyfriend was allegedly depressed after his parents split up, which made him vulnerable to the coaxing.

This is an extreme example that proves text messages can be considered evidence for a criminal conviction. However, texts are often misinterpreted and people are falsely accused of crimes every day.

When Can a Text Be Illegal?

  • Harassment and threats: Harassing someone, either sexually or verbally with text messages can be illegal if the threats are serious enough.
  • Libel: Sending a text that is hurtful to someone’s reputation and untrue can be illegal, especially if it keeps an employee from getting a job. For example, an employer says a false rumor about you to a potential new employer after called for a reference.
  • Evidence for other crimes: If you are conducting illegal activities, your text messages could be reviewed for evidence.

Text messages can be an easy way to gather evidence for a case. However, an errant text that may sound malicious in a time of stress from a defendant can be blown way out of proportion. A Lewisville criminal defense attorney can help defend you from allegations regarding text correspondence.



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