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3 Crimes For Threatening a Politician

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By Andrew Lu on September 10, 2012 7:05 AM

Ever think of threatening a politician? With the endless loop of commercials and phone calls, it's only our sanity and knowledge that threatening a politician may be a crime that stops most of us from doing so.

But every year, a few people do lose it and lash out with threats and actions against a politician or political candidate.

Here are the three most likely crimes and situations involving someone who threatens a politician:

  1. Federal Laws Against Threatening a Government Official. You know how people say that you could be jailed for making a threat against the President of the United States? Well, it's true. You could go to jail for up to five years for threatening the President. And don't think you can get off any easier by threatening a lower-level political figure like a Congressmen. In fact, you could face ten years in jail for threatening one of them. They write the laws after all.
  2. State and Federal Stalking Laws. The opposite of sending someone a threatening letter may be to fall completely in love and become infatuated with a particular candidate. But flattering adoration can quickly become creepy stalking as chance meetings become ambushes, loving voicemails become clingy, and texts every five minutes are just plain annoying. Just about every state has stalking laws, and you could be imprisoned for your puppy love.
  3. Extortion. Think you have a juicy piece of information against a particular candidate? Well, it's probably a better idea to toss it, than to make anonymous phone calls and demands for favors or money. Whatever you want to call it -- strong-arming, blackmail, or extortion -- these are usually considered felonies and you could face significant jail time for trying to leverage your information against a candidate.

If you get sick of all the politics during this time of the year, do yourself a favor and turn off the TV. Nothing good comes from threatening a politician -- at best, you'll look insane. At worst, you'll be charged with a crime.

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