Am I in trouble if I send an angry letter to a state offical?

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Am I in trouble if I send an angry letter to a state offical?

Asked on November 11, 2011 under Criminal Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

How "angry" is "angry"?

If you express, even with vitriol and profanity, your disagreement with his or her policies or actions, you have done nothing wrong--not only does the 1st Amendment protect speech (especially speech made about or to the government), but there generally no law against sending angry letters.

On the other hand, if your letter either explicitly made threats, or even implicitly threatened the person (e.g."bad things happen to people who do what you did"--even if you meant that in the sense of "karma," it could easily be taken as a threat), then you probably have violated one or more laws, including harassment, making terroristic threats, possibly some sort of interferring with government operations, etc.


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