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Harassment by Telephone or Via Electronic Communications

Posted on in Family Law

domestic violence, Illinois family law attorney, Illinois divorce lawyer,Domestic abuse is not a cookie-cutter crime. The abuse can take on many different forms, including harassment by telephone (if directed toward a family or household member, or a significant other). Keep in mind that this category of harassment is not limited to telephone calls; rather, it also includes electronic communications such as text messages, emails and messages transmitted via social media outlets like Facebook. Those facing harassment from a spouse may wish to speak to an experienced attorney for help obtaining an order of protection.

Harassment by Telephone

A person can be charged with harassment by telephone if he or she uses telephone communication to:

  • Make an obscene comment, request, suggestion or proposal with the intent to offend;
  • Make a telephone call (whether or not it results in a conversation) with the intent to harass the person at the called number;
  • Make or cause a person’s phone to ring repeatedly, with the intent to harass that person;
  • Make repeated phone calls (which result in conversation) solely to harass the person at the called number; or
  • Make a phone call or knowingly induce someone else to make a call to harass a child under 13 years old, regardless of whether the minor consents, if the defendant is at least 16 years old at the time.

It is also telephone harassment if an individual permits his or her phone to be used for one of the above purposes.

Harassment Via Electronic Communications

The law also specifies what actions qualify as harassment via electronic communications. The prohibited behavior is similar to that of harassment by telephone, but it is helpful to spell out the subtle differences. A person can be charged with harassment via electronic communications if he or she uses such communications to:

  • Make an obscene comment, request, suggestion or proposal with the intent to offend;
  • Interrupt a person’s telephone service or electronic communications service with the intent to harass;
  • Transmit a file, document or other communication with the intent to harass (whether or not the communication is read), which prevents the receiver from using his or phone service or electronic communications device;
  • Transmit an electronic communication or knowingly induce someone else to transmit the communication with the intent of harassing a child under 13 years old, regardless of whether the minor consents, if the defendant is at least 16 years old at the time; or
  • Threaten injury to the electronic communication receiver’s person, property or family or household members.

As with telephone harassment, it is also harassment via electronic communications if an individual knowingly permits an electronic device under his or her control to be used for one of the above purposes.

You do not have to – and should not – put up with any form of domestic abuse. If you are the victim of harassment by telephone or via electronic communications, you might be eligible for an order of protection (also known as a restraining order). Contact one of our experienced Kane County family law attorneys today for a consultation. We can help you understand your rights and help protect you from abusive situations. We can assist those in the St. Charles area.

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