The Federal Communications Act and many state laws prohibit telephone harassment. Telephone harassment occurs when someone intends to annoy, harass, or threaten you by:
People who commit telephone harassment are subject to fines, prison or both.
Not all telephone calls amount to harassment. Several factors to consider in deciding whether there is harassment include:
Courts have been hesitant to make criminal cases out of family disputes, political squabbles, and business matters. If the calls come from someone you know, a restraining order may be an appropriate solution. Also, comments made during a moment of anger may not count as obscene.
If you are accused of telephone harassment, you should contact a criminal lawyer to learn more about your rights, defenses, and the complicated legal system.
If you are a victim of harassment, you should contact the police. If the police can identify the caller and find sufficient evidence, they will forward the case to the District Attorney's office to prosecute the caller. The phone company can also help track down the caller. A lawyer can help determine if the caller's words are obscene and if you are entitled to any civil damages, such as emotional distress, as well.
Last Modified: 03-05-2014 11:33 AM PSTLaw Library Disclaimer
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