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ACT Criminal Law - Will I Go to Jail for Calling to Apologise?

Discussion in 'Other/General Law Forum' started by NEWBIE87, 15 December 2015.

  1. NEWBIE87

    NEWBIE87 Member

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    Hello,

    So about two weeks ago, someone no longer wanted to speak to me (rightly so). I was negative in this relationship and was always being quite critical out of insecurity, etc.

    Anyway, one day I said something quite mean and he blocked me from all means of communication (phone, whatsapp, facebook). I left a message trying to apologise because I realised my behaviour was a bit over the top, but in doing this, my apologising was also over the top and I realise now it was childish, immature and I should have just left it. Anyway, he said if I make one more phone call, he will start taking legal actions. (Bear in mind my messages were never threatening, etc).

    After he said he would take legal action, I realised I needed serious help in terms of why my behaviour was so excessive. I have seen a psychologist and realized my behavior was wrong. I am the type of person who doesn't like an unfinished ending, so I thought if I could talk to this person one more time and do a proper apology, maybe a good ending will come of it and I can stop thinking about my horrible behaviour. So I just used a payphone at my local shops and as soon as he knew it was me, he hung up. I understand, I accept and will never message him again or call.

    My question is, can I go to jail or have something freaky happen to me criminal law wise? I'm actually really scared because I haven't sent any threatening, hurtful messages. They were apologies, granted over the top sorry's but nevertheless only one call in two weeks ever since he said he would take legal action.

    I have visions of police coming to my work and arresting me... Is this possible?

    Thank you for your help.
     
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    Hi NEWBIE87,

    He may be able to get a protection order against you like a DVO, however, this is not a criminal offence - unless you contravene such an order. There may, however, be grounds to charge you with stalking, which is a criminal offence and has a max jail term of 5 years.

    To successfully charge you with stalking the police would have to prove that (1) you engaged in any of the following types of conduct:
    • following or approaching the person;
    • approaches or enters a place where the person resides works or visits;
    • interferes with their property
    • sends them offensive material
    • telephones, sends messages or otherwise contacts the person;
    • sends messages about the person to others;
    • acts covertly in a way that could cause apprehension
    • engages in conduct amounting to intimidation or harassment of the person.
    AND (2) that you either intended to cause apprehension or fear of harm or to cause harm or to harass the person or you knew that or were reckless about whether your actions would be likely to cause apprehension or fear or harass the stalked person.

    Whether or not they can charge you with this would depend on your prior behaviour and how often you were telephoning and trying to make contact etc.
     
  3. NEWBIE87

    NEWBIE87 Member

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    I called and messaged heaps before he blocked me because at that point we were still talking, albeit me getting angry at him for being an a**hole. But as soon as he told me he would do the legal action thing because he felt stalked and his privacy violated, I stopped and only ever called once in that two weeks to say sorry.

    Definitely no intention to harm, etc. and my psychologist could vouch for the fact that it was only a call to say sorry, but all those initial statements you made about going to a workplace, etc...definitely not me!

    Heaps of messages prior to blocking me when we were still on a civil level but that stopped asap. I guess I can stop having these visions. haha
     
  4. NEWBIE87

    NEWBIE87 Member

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    Hey again.

    So I have left Aus for the holidays and back in NZ. And I can't stop thinking about how childish I acted that day. If I sent a genuine sorry message from the number I use in NZ, will that be regarded as stalking?

    All I want is to apologise for my behaviour and my negativity that I displayed towards him for months, but I also don't want to make things worse.
     
  5. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    It's difficult to say with any certainty what a court knowing all the facts of your situation would determine that you are guilty of stalking or similar. These things are assessed on a case by case basis and while you have given me some facts from your side of the story, the court would have the benefit of having all the facts from all the parties and base their decision on that rounded out and impartial information.

    If you want to be safe I would just let it go, put it out of your mind and move on. If you absolutely must send a message, you do risk him going to the police but from what you have said it would not appear that one more message apologising (and promising it was the absolute last message) would not suddenly render you guilty of a criminal offence.
     
  6. NEWBIE87

    NEWBIE87 Member

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    The stuff I wrote above is pretty much it. I agree before he blocked me and we were talking to each other I sent lots of messages/calls being negative. The moment he told me he felt stalked and his privacy violated and blocked me, I realized I had gone too far (excessive crazy apologising isn't logical sometimes).

    That was 27nov and I never sent another message again, only that one call two weeks later that he hung up on and a message that he probably would have never gotten from my blocked number. I did send one message frm my NZ number today and I said everything I wanted apology-wise so I feel I can move on. He def won't reply but ive done everything I can to apologise.

    Gotta move on.
     

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