Is it harassment if the other party is talking or texting back?

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Is it harassment if the other party is talking or texting back?

Asked on October 7, 2012 under Criminal Law, Utah

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

What defines harassment is the nature of the communication (regardless of how it is communicated -- text, email, in person) and the intent of the communication.  This is the definition of harassment for the purposes of an offense in Utah:  "with intent to frighten or harass another, he communicates a written or recorded threat to commit any violent felony."
    A statement can still be considered harassment even if a person talks or texts a response, as long as the original statements were intended to convey a threat.  So a response does not automatically invalidate a claim of harassment.  However, the response and the remainder of the convesation can put statements in "context" and demonstrate that the statements were not intended to harass or alarm the other person.


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