Malicious use of a telephone, aka phone harassment, is a misdemeanor under Michigan law. A person is guilty of phone harassment by maliciously using any service provided by a telecommunications service provider with the intent to terrorize, frighten, intimidate, threaten, harass, molest, or annoy another person or to disturb the peace and quiet of another person. The offense can be prosecuted if the communication originates or terminates in Michigan. A person is guilty of phone harassment by committing any of the following through the use of a telecommunications service or device:
- Threatening physical harm or damage to any person or property in the course of a conversation or message.
- Falsely and deliberately reporting by message that a person has been injured, has suddenly taken ill, has died, or has been the victim of a crime or accident.
- Deliberately refusing or failing to disengage a connection between telecommunications devices or any other equipment used for the transmission of messages through a telecommunications service or device.
- Using vulgar, indecent, obscene, or offensive language or suggesting any lewd or lascivious act in the course of a conversation or message.
- Repeatedly initiating a telephone call and, without speaking, deliberately hanging up or breaking the telephone connection as or after the call is answered.
- Making an unsolicited commercial call between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. An unsolicited commercial call is one made by a person or recording device on behalf of a person, corporation, or other entity soliciting business or contributions.
- Deliberately engaging or causing to engage the use of a telecommunications service or device of another person in a repetitive manner that causes interruption in telecommunications service or prevents the person from utilizing his or her telecommunications service or device.
Penalties for Malicious Use of a Telephone
Phone harassment is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and/or a fine up to $1,000.
Lansing Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney
What you may think is a prank or crank call can land you with a criminal charge and an indelible blot on your record. If you have been charged with malicious use of telecommunications service call Austin Legal Services, PLC today to speak to a Michigan phone harassment attorney at (517) 614-1983!
Defending charges of malicious use of a telephone throughout Michigan in the counties of Ingham, Eaton, Clinton, Gratiot, Livingston, Kent, Jackson, Shiawassee, Washtenaw in the cities of Lansing, East Lansing, Mason, Charlotte, St. Johns, Ithaca, Howell, Brighton, Grand Rapids, Jackson, Corunna, Ann Arbor.