Although making prank calls seems like harmless fun, especially for children,
they may also result in criminal charges. According to California law,
it is against the law to make any contact with another individual that
uses “obscene” language or threatens the person, their loved
ones, or their property.
In order to be convicted of the crime, the prosecutor needs to prove the
- Called or established electronic communication (e.g. texting, e-mailing,
messaging through social media platforms, etc.) with another person
- The purpose of the call or communication was to annoy that person
- The defendant either used obscene language during the communication or
made a threat to someone, their family, or their property.
Additionally, it is illegal to make repeated contact with the intention
to annoy another person. The prosecution must prove that the defendant
made repeated—at least two—calls or electronic communication
to another individual and he/she intended to annoy or harass that person.
Obscene language consists of language that any reasonable person would
find offensive. Although the law doesn’t define what is considered
as “annoying,” the court must take into account the caller’s
objective when initiating contact.
Making an illegal prank call is a misdemeanor. If convicted of this crime,
a person can face up to six months in county jail and a maximum fine of $1,000.
If you have been charged with committing an illegal prank call, it is imperative
to obtain experienced legal counsel to protect your rights and future. Your
criminal defense lawyer can raise several potential defenses, such as the fact that the
communication was not obscene or you did not intend to annoy the other
For more information,
contact our Ventura criminal defense lawyers at
The Law Offices of Jarrod M. Wilfert today.