Friday, May 17, 2024

What Can The Police Do About Harassing Phone Calls

Don't Miss

Can The Police Do Anything About Harassing Texts

Elk Grove police officer accused of harassing Black teenager | Part 2

As soon as the person sending you unwanted texts threatens you in any way, you should go to the police. If you receive disturbing messages from an unknown number, the police will need to obtain telephone records from the mobile phone companies to track down the perpetrator and reveal his identity. The first step in getting the records is obtaining a legal permission. This might take some time, so you should be prepared to wait.

Keep in mind, though, that the police wont be able to help you if you have a problem with spam messages. They can only take action when your health or security is jeopardized. Your health can be affected if the messages in question make you feel anxious or stressed-out. In this case, the exact moment when the texts become harassing depends on your tolerance threshold.

If you have a pre-existing health condition that makes your stress threshold lower, make sure you let the police know. It is also crucial to mention whether the abuser is aware of your condition. If so, the police can take action even after a single text message sent with the intention to cause distress.

Check What You Can Do About A Hate Crime Or Hate Incident

You can report it the police if youve:

  • experienced a hate crime or incident
  • seen a hate crime or incident happen to someone else

Its worth reporting it to the police even if you dont think its very serious. Sometimes small hate incidents can lead to more serious ones. For example, someone might start by making offensive jokes but they could end up hurting someone.

If you experience more than one hate incident by the same person or group of people, its worth reporting every incident to the police.

Check how to report a hate crime to the police.

When Does A Phone Call Rise To The Level Of Harassment

Not every call is harassing under the meaning of the law. There is a difference between an annoying call and a harassing one. Telephone harassment occurs when someone intends to annoy, harass, or threaten you by:

  • making a telephone continually ring
  • making lewd, indecent, or obscene comments, suggestions, or requests over the telephone
  • making a telephone call without identifying oneself
  • making repeated telephone calls where the conversation consists only of harassment, or
  • making a telephone call and using heavy breathing or silence with an intent to intimidate.

Just one unwelcome call can be harassing, though a single misdial or “wrong number” call might not rise to the level of harassment. It’s a good idea to tell the recipient of such a call that you accidentally misdialed the number. People who commit telephone harassment are subject to fines, prison, or both. In many states, telephone harassment is a criminal misdemeanor and can be more serious when a defendant in a criminal case is harassing the victim.

Read Also: Can I Become A Police Officer Without A Degree

Lack Of Intent To Annoy Or Harass

One of the best legal defenses you can bring against charges that you made annoying phone calls under Penal Code 653m is that you did not actually intend to annoy or harass the person you contacted.

As we discussed above, you can not be convicted unless the prosecutor can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that this is what you intended.24 If you had some other good-faith intention or business purpose for making the call or sending the communication, there is a good chance the prosecutor will not be able to prove this and you can fight the annoying phone calls charges on this basis.25

File A Restraining Order

Legal Advice Line for Women Experiencing Sexual Harassment at Work Launched

The laws overseeing restraining orders vary from state to state, but most states have a system by which a citizen can apply to the court to get protection from phone harassment.

Steps you can expect to take to file for a restraining order are:

  • Gathering data and evidence
  • Contacting the clerk’s office at your local courthouse and ask about the further processwhich usually includes making a statement under oath
  • Serving the court papers to the person harassing you. The sheriff’s office generally does this for you, and you will be required to pay a fee for the process
  • Preparing for your hearing
  • Enforcing the order if you receive it

You May Like: How Long Is The Police Academy In Ca

Report Harassing Phone Calls To The Police

If you are being harassed over the phone, you should contact the police immediately. Even if you don’t think the situation has escalated enough, it’s a safe bet to check in with them first. When reaching the police, you will be asked for details about the call. Some of the questions you can expect are:

  • Exact time and date of the phone call
  • The content of the conversation
  • The number of the caller that called
  • Information about the caller and any personal characteristics you could make out from the callers voice .

If the caller is not calling from a spoofed number, the police can identify the caller and will forward the case to be prosecuted.

To obtain a restraining order or report the caller to the police, you will have to prove that you are being harassed, threatened, or intimidated. This means that you need to gather evidence that the phone calls are excessive, unsolicited, and threatening in nature.

The Scam Of Unknown Phone Calls

Dont give your phone number to a stranger: if you dont remember what theyre saying, dont call back. You can report the problem online or by phone to the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-382-4357 . The Federal Trade Commission receives complaints about a variety of scams, including these popular ones: phone calls.

Read Also: Where To Get Police Report

What Is Online Abuse Examples

A child or young person experiencing abuse online might: spend a lot more or a lot less time than usual online, texting, gaming or using social media. seem distant, upset or angry after using the internet or texting. be secretive about who theyre talking to and what theyre doing online or on their mobile phone.

How Many Phone Calls A Day Is Considered Harassment

When a School Calls the Police on a Student

Repeated or more frequent phone calls to the same person often signal harassment, whereas one single phone call may not. Furthermore, whether the recipient asked the caller to stop is a factor to consider when determining whether the act constitutes harassment.

The Client Review Rating is calculated by combining validated responses to a survey. Anyone who consults or hires a lawyer, including in-house counsel, corporate executives, small business owners, and private individuals, can be a reviewer. There is no responsibility of the reviewer and Martindale-Hubbell for the content or accuracy of any review. Peer review ratings from the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review System are the gold standard because they are objective and comprehensive. Only attorneys who have been practicing for at least three years and have received no fewer than ten reviews from other attorneys are eligible to receive a Rating. A high rating in the peer group indicates that many members consider him or her to be among the best lawyers in the world.

Recommended Reading: How To Buy Used Police Cars

What Is A Harassing Phone Call

The laws of the State of Florida provide that the following acts are crimes punishable by fine, imprisonment or both. Whoever by telephone makes, or knowingly permits another to make over a telephone under his or her control:

  • Any comment, request, suggestion or proposal which is obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy or indecent.
  • A telephone call, whether or not a conversation ensues, without disclosing his/her identity and with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any person at the number called.
  • A telephone call which causes the telephone of another to repeatedly ring, with the intent to harass any person at the number called.
  • Repeated telephone calls, during which conversation ensues, solely to harass any person at the number called.
  • Can Harassing Phone Calls Be Considered A Crime

    When is excessive phone calling considered harassment? It is true that the person making the calls has the intention of harassing or annoying the person receiving them. Furthermore, if the recipient expressly requests that the , that call may be considered harassment. What are the four types of harassment call? Using a public phone line without disclosing your identity in order to harass or annoy the person on the other end of the line. It would also be considered a harassing call if the person was repeatedly harassed by the number being repeatedly called. Is harassing a telephone number a crime? Stalking is a criminal offense that is frequently associated with harassing phone calls. Stalking another person could result in a prison sentence under California Penal Code Section 646.9 PC, which makes stalking a felony.

    Also Check: How To Get The Police Report For Car Accident

    When Police Exceed Their Authority

    If your arrest was based on false testimony from a known unreliable source, or it was based solely on your ethnicity, your lawyer may be able to demonstrate a civil rights violation. If a fellow officer witnessed your illegal arrest and failed to intervene, an additional charge may be brought against that officer for failing to intervene to protect you from a constitutional violation.

    Most violations are based on excessive force. Even if the officers had sound intentions when restraining you, they may not cause unwarranted serious bodily harm or death, such as using a taser on you while you are handcuffed and posing no danger. Whether the officers used excessive or unreasonable force is based on the surrounding facts and circumstances that your attorney will carefully investigate.

    Also Check: How To Be A Police Officer In Massachusetts

    Violating A Restraining Order

    Trace Cell Phone Numbers (With images)

    Often, defendants accused of making annoying or harassing phone calls in violation of Penal Code 653m have a longstanding, pre-existing relationship with the person they are supposed to be annoying or harassing. Often it is a former spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend, or a friend or business associate with whom they have had a disagreement.

    Annoying or harassing phone calls are sometimes charged along with violating a restraining order.

    In some of these cases, the person who is being contacted may have taken out a restraining order against the person who is trying to make contact. If you have had a restraining order issued against you that states that you must not contact a certain person and you contact them by phone, text message, email, etc. repeatedly or using threatening or obscene language then you may be charged both with

    In order to be convicted of violating a restraining order, you need to have violated the terms of the order willingly and knowingly.36 So you have to have known about the restraining order and its restrictions on contacting the other person.

    Violating a restraining or protective order is usually a misdemeanor in California, with maximum penalties of

    • up to one year in county jail and/or
    • a $1,000 fine.37

    Read Also: How To Become A Police Officer San Diego

    Can You Sue Someone For Harassing Phone Calls

    If you receive a robocall or any telemarketing call from a U.S. company that you did not agree to through express consent, you can sue and receive compensation. These calls include robocalls and, in some cases, debt collectors. A lawyer may be able to get between $500 and $1500 for each call that violates the rule.

    What Laws Protect You From Phone Harassment

    You are protected by law from phone harassment by the Telephone Consumer Protect Act . However, the unfortunate reality is that this legislation will not do much to stop your phone harassment problem. Even if you decide to take legal action!

    Though the TCPA is a helpful guideline like many other helpful laws, it does not stop harassers from flooding your smartphone or landline phone.

    The Telephone Consumer Protection Act was never designed to help you:

  • Reveal the blocked caller behind the harassing phone calls you receive
  • Stop or prevent that caller from calling you again
  • Provide evidence of phone harassment in the form of call logs and voice recordings
  • The key problem when trying to take legal action against phone harassment is lack of ability to reveal the true identity behind the blocker or spoofed phone calls you receive. Because many solutions cannot disclose the real identity of blocked callers there is little you can do until you have that information.

    With TrapCall, you can unmask the identity of blocked callers, perform a reverse phone number lookup on phone numbers you do not identify, record incoming harassing phone calls, and block incoming spam calls.

    Also Check: Where Can I Purchase A Police Scanner

    Trapcall Is The Only App Designed To Stop Phone Harassment

    At TrapCall, we are continually improving our solution to put a permanent end to phone harassment. TrapCall is the only app for iOS and Android that offers a full suite of tools needed to:

  • Identify your harasser behind blocked, unknown, or no caller ID phone calls
  • Reveal the callers behind unfamiliar phone numbers with reverse phone number lookups
  • Recording incoming phone conversations to provide evidence of harassment
  • Provide documentation and call logs of the phone harassment you receive
  • TrapCall helps you build your phone harassment case, all while ensuring your phone harassers can no longer reach your smartphone! Starting at a low monthly fee, TrapCall is the most secure investment to stop phone harassment, and help you get your life free from phone harassers back!

    Online Harassment Of Russian

    Phone Scammer Gets Scammed by Police Captain

    The Calgary Police Service is investigating multiple reports of online harassment on a social media platform targeting members of the Russian-Calgarian community.

    In the past 48 hours, we have received multiple reports from citizens about what is believed to be hate speech and harassment targeting Russian-Calgarians on a social media platform, police said in a release.

    Patrol officers and the hate crimes and extremism team are investigating.

    Hate-motivated crimes have no place in our community and we will not tolerate criminal behaviour associated with hate speech and harassment, said Sgt. Matt Messenger.

    We encourage anyone who believes they have been the victim of a hate crime, or who may have witnessed one, to please come forward and report it to police.

    Police say hate-motivated crimes are recognizable when the offender is motivated by bias, prejudice or hate, that is based on one of nine personal characteristics of the victim this includes race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, language, mental or physical disability, sex, age, or any other similar factor.

    The victim assistance support team , a free service offered to all victims of crime, is also being utilized. VAST can be reached at 403-428-8398, or toll-free at 1-888-327-7828.

    Police also released surveillance photos of a suspect connected to vandalism of a Russian Orthodox Church, where someone scaled a fence and threw red paint on the front doors.

    Don’t Miss: What If Someone Files A Police Report On You

    Drunk Man Runs Into Traffic Trashes Garbage Can: Fairview Park Police Blotter


    Disorderly conduct: Lorain Road

    At 1:45 p.m. Jan. 13, officers responded to multiple phone calls reporting that a man was running into traffic and had knocked over a garbage can.

    Responding officers detained the 27-year-old Richmond Heights man, who was cited for disorderly conduct and open container.

    He picked up the trash he had knocked over and left the area.

    Theft: Westgate

    At 3:17 p.m. Jan. 10, an Ulta Cosmetics employee reported that the same unknown individual had stolen items from the store on three separate days.

    A 45-year-old Cleveland woman was identified as the suspect. The report has been sent to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutors Office for indictment.

    Theft: Westgate

    At 4:09 p.m. Jan. 10, a Kohls employee reported that a theft had just occurred involving two men who had already left the area in a car.

    Two people of interest were identified. The investigation is ongoing.

    Disorderly conduct: Lorain Road

    At 4:38 a.m. Jan. 11, an officer on patrol saw a person sleeping behind a closed business near West 217th Street. After waking the man, signs of alcohol intoxication were observed.

    The 46-year-old Cleveland man was cited for disorderly conduct while Intoxicated, and a sober friend was able to take him home.

    Grand theft: Westgate

    At 9:18 p.m. Jan. 12, a Target employee reported a theft of electronics involving three men that had occurred on Dec. 10. Through an investigation, two people of interest were identified. The investigation is ongoing.

    Applying For A Protection Order

    A protection order, which in some states are known as intervention orders, restraining orders or domestic violence orders, can often be tailored to your specific safety needs. For harassment, the order could instruct the abusive person to not communicate with you at all. Or, if you dont want to prohibit all communication with him , the order could simply limit his communication with you to certain times, purposes, or methods. For example, the order could say that he can only communicate with you via text message, only for the purposes of communicating about arrangements for the children, and the messages must not be abusive.

    If you already have a current order, but it doesnt contain these provisions, talk to a lawyer to see if you can have the order modified. Its important to seek legal advice for information about protection orders and about your specific situation because what gets included in the order will depend on your safety needs and the jurisdiction where you live. Legal advice can be obtained from a private lawyer, Legal Aid, a Community Legal Centre , a Family Violence Prevention Legal Service or from an Aboriginal Legal Service. Some suburban and regional court houses have duty lawyers from Legal Aid or a Community Legal Centre who attend the court house on days protection order applications are heard, and they can advise you on your options and whether you have grounds for an order.

    You May Like: Can You Make An Anonymous Police Report

    More articles

    Popular Articles