While making an obscene phone call might start out as a funny prank, it could end up with you facing criminal charges and possible jail time. In fact, being charged with making a harassing or obscene phone call is not just limited to telephone contact; you could face these charges for sending an obscene text, email or other electronic message.
Some people who are charged with making obscene or harassing phone calls are not criminals; they are husbands and wives, exes and co-workers who have simply made a poor decision. Unfortunately, one poor decision could result in jail time, hefty fines and a criminal record.
If you have been arrested and charged with making an obscene or harassing phone call in Redwood City or anywhere in the Bay Area, it is important to contact an experienced lawyer immediately to prepare an aggressive defense against these charges.
What Qualifies as a Harassing and Obscene Phone Call?
Making an obscene or harassing phone call is addressed in California's Penal Code 653m PC, and there are two sections:
- Subdivision A (obscene or threatening phone calls or electronic communication): making a phone call using obscene language or threat;
- Subdivision B (repeated contact by phone or electronic communication): making repeated phone calls or harassing phone calls
In order for the prosecution to obtain a conviction, they must prove three elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- That you made a phone call or sent an electronic communication to the victim
- That the message or phone call was obscene in nature, contained threats or was made repeatedly
- That you did so with the willful intent to annoy the victim or harass the victim
For example: A husband and wife are going through a messy divorce. He wants to see the kids more often, but she refuses. Frustrated and angry at the situation, he makes an angry and threatening phone call to her. She was delighted to press charges against him for making a harassing and obscene phone call. Furthermore, she filed for a domestic violence restraining order against him which further impedes his ability to see his children.
Penalties for Harassing Phone Calls in California
In the State of California, if you are convicted of making harassing or obscene phone calls, you could face the following penalties and consequences:
- Misdemeanor charges
- Up to six months in a county jail
- Up to $1,000 fine
- Restraining order against you
- Court-ordered counseling for up to three years
- And more
If you are facing criminal charges for a violation of annoying or harassing telephone calls it is important to call the San Mateo County law office of Ahmed & Sukaram immediately.
Defenses Against Charges of Harassing and Obscene Phone Calls
There are several defenses your Redwood City criminal defense attorney can employ to have your charges reduced or even dismissed all together. First, a defense to the obscene or threatening calls is that the telephone calls or electronic contacts were made in good faith.
Secondly, a defense to the repeated telephone calls is that the telephone calls or electronic contacts were made in good faith or during the ordinary course and scope of business. Moreover, it may be difficult for the prosecution to even prove that you made obscene or harassing phone calls. And these are just a few of the defenses. Our attorneys can help you understand all your defenses.
Get the Harassment Defense You Need
At Ahmed & Sukaram, our Redwood City lawyers have successfully defended clients in the state of California who have been charged with making harassing or obscene phone calls.
If you are facing criminal charges anywhere in the State of California, contact the dynamic legal team of Ahmed & Sukaram immediately. We are here 24/7 to help you through this difficult time and fight for your future.
** " Electronic communication device" includes, but is not limited to, telephones, cellular phones, computers, video recorders, facsimile machines, pagers, personal digital assistants, smartphones, and any other device that transfers signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, or data. " Electronic communication device" also includes, but is not limited to, videophones, TTY/TDD devices, and all other devices used to aid or assist communication to or from deaf or disabled persons. "Electronic communication" has the same meaning as the term defined in Subsection 12 of Section 2510 of Title 18 of the United States Code.