26 Nov Phone Harassment Laws Florida
– Hang up your phone immediately when you hear profanity. First, a violation of paragraph (b) of the Act exists only if the appellant does not identify himself. So if an old friend keeps calling and says, “Hey, that`s Sam, call me,” it`s not a harassing call because the friend has revealed his identity. The defendant under section (a) of the Act may seek judgment in Avrich v. State of Florida, 936 So. 2d 739 (3rd DCA 2006). In Avrich, the respondent was charged with eight counts of violating paragraph 365.16(1)(a) by making harassing telephone calls with the victim when the victim had a reasonable expectation of privacy. These calls went to the victim`s home, but she had a phone number from his home from which he ran a comic book. The calls arrived at this phone number, which was published as a business number. The court overturned the verdicts, stating that most people find it hard to believe that a phone call can lead to criminal charges; However, this happens regularly in Florida. Yes, your cell phone is your private property and you have the freedom to use it as you please, but when it is used to terrorize, harass or harm others, it becomes a legal problem. Law enforcement officials in Central Florida aggressively pursue people accused of making harassing or obscene phone calls, and while they effectively punish violations, ordinary people are often falsely accused of a crime, leading to false convictions. Harassing or obscene telephone calls are a second-degree offense that can be punished as follows: “Make a phone call in a place where the person receiving the call has a reasonable expectation of privacy; during such a call, make obscene, obscene, lascivious, dirty, vulgar or indecent comments, requests, suggestions or suggestions; and by such call or language intends to insult, annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any person at the number called.
Obscene or harassing phone calls can be one of the most stressful and frightening invasions of a person`s privacy. While the technology that allows us to make calls is not new, improved accessibility and usability means this crime is prosecuted more often. Unlike years ago, when people first had to go to a phone before initiating communication, now people carry their phones with them all the time. There is an immediacy that takes away people`s time to calm down or think more deeply about their words – and how they can be perceived. We take your safety seriously. If you are concerned about the harassing calls you have received, please call the UWF Police Department at (850) 474-2415. Harassing or obscene phone calls are a crime in Florida, according to F.S. 365.16.
However, appeals made in good faith or in the ordinary course of business or commerce are exempt from prosecution. The Consumer Telephone Protection Act (TCPA) was passed in 1991 to protect individuals from unwanted telemarketing communications, but even this law allows calls related to political purposes, debt collection, charitable advertising, and more. In Florida, it is illegal to make a call in a place where the person receiving the call has an expectation of privacy and where the caller makes an obscene comment, does not reveal his identity, or repeatedly calls, whether a conversation takes place or not, for the sole purpose of harassing the recipient. This crime is a second-degree offense punishable by up to $500 and/or 60 days in jail (Florida State Statute 365.16). If you receive a single harassing call, don`t panic. The caller may have accidentally dialed the wrong number and never intended to alert you. Keep the following suggestions in mind when you receive a call from someone you don`t know: From time to time, my firm is hired to defend a case of an obscene or harassing phone call. It`s not the most popular accusation on Earth, but it`s an interesting law and harder to prove than most people think.
Let us begin the analysis with the legislation that governs everything, section 365.16(1)(b), which states in the relevant part that “(1) a person who (b) makes a telephone call, whether or not a conversation takes place, without revealing his or her identity and with the intent to harass, abuse, threaten or harass any person at the number called; Is guilty of a misdemeanor” and my favorite section adds (5) Nothing in this section applies to telephone calls made in good faith in the ordinary course of business or commerce. (so I think it throws banknote collectors off the hook…). As you can only see in these few examples, the crime of harassment or obscene phone calls is more nuanced than it seems at first glance. Contact an aggressive criminal defense attorney to defend your rights and interests. If you or someone you know is being sued for harassing or obscene phone calls, contact an experienced domestic violence attorney at Umansky Law Firm. We`ve helped many people like you refute lawsuits against them for alleged third-party harassment, and we understand that scenarios can be very different. This area of law is one of the most nuanced, which means you need an experienced phone harassment attorney in Orlando who can take advantage of loopholes in the law. Contact us today so we can start rejecting these destructive claims.
There is a fifth crime where someone owns or has control of the phone used for the harassment, but is not really involved in the act. F. 365.16 (2) provides that every person who knowingly permits a telephone under his or her control to be used for a purpose prohibited by this Act may also be convicted of a second-degree offence. Florida law § 365.16 defines the crime of making harassing or obscene phone calls as that: – Date and time of calls- Phone number of the phone where the calls were received – Provider service for this phone number- Caller phone number (if you have caller ID)- Description of the caller`s voice (male/female, accent, speech pattern, bass/pitch) and background noise The team of lawyers specializing in telephone harassment in Orlando at The Umansky Law Firm can investigate the details of your case and implement the most appropriate defense strategy for your case to clear your name. Our diverse and talented team includes certified criminal lawyers and former prosecutors who are committed to upholding your rights. Contact us today for a free case evaluation. If you receive a series of harassing or obscene phone calls: “From the records available to us, it is clear that the defendant made phone calls to the victim`s business phone line, which is located in the victim`s home where he conducted his business. While the victim may have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their apartment, that expectation does not extend to their business.
See Morningstar, 428 So. 2d, p. 221 (where it is stated that the constitutional protection of an individual`s reasonable expectation of privacy in his or her home does not extend to a place of business). We conclude that there was insufficient evidence to satisfy the elements of paragraph 365.16(1)(a) since the respondent was only making calls to the victim`s business hotline. People who don`t actually make the calls can also be prosecuted, as it`s also illegal to use a phone under your control for harassment purposes. As you can see, something as simple as a harassing call can still be difficult to prove. When in doubt, I humbly suggest you call an experienced criminal defense attorney in Orlando, I know a good one! – If you answer your phone and no one answers your greeting, hang up immediately. – Never have a conversation with someone you don`t know. In each of these cases, the offense is considered a second-degree offense, with a maximum penalty of two months in jail, two months probation and a $500 fine.