Cell Phone / Text Message Harassment
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Cell Phone/text Message Harassment

Cell Phone Harassment: cell phone/text message harassment is a violation of law with a likelihood of imprisonment and/or damages. Unfortunately because cell phone/text message harassment is typically sophisticated and many times anonymous, the government is likely to accuse an innocent individual. Moreover, many attorneys do not have the background and/or knowledge to successfully defend a person accused of phone harassment. Someone accused of phone harassment needs the expertise of a strong cell phone attorney.

What is cell phone/text message harassment?

Cell phone harassment is generally defined as not involving a realistic threat. Phone harassment usually pertains to obnoxious or threatening or harassing phone messages or text messages, dedicated solely to tormenting an individual. Some states approach cell phone/text message harassment in the same manner they address cyber harassment by including language addressing electronic communications in general harassment statutes, while others have created stand-alone phone harassment statutes.

Many states have enacted "phone harassment/text message" laws or have laws that explicitly include electronic forms of communication within more traditional harassment laws. In addition, recent concerns about protecting minors from online bullying or phone harassment/text message harassment have led states to enact "cyberbullying" laws. This chart identifies only state laws that include specific references to electronic communication. However, other state laws may still apply to those who harass, threaten or bully others through the phone, although specific language may make the laws easier to enforce. This chart classifies the various state laws addressing these three different types of digital behaviors, as described below.

State/Territory

Phone Stalking

Phone Harassment

Alabama

Ala. Code § 13A-11-8

Alaska

Alaska Stat. §§ 11.41.260, 11.41.270

Arizona

Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-2921

Arkansas

Ark. Code § 5-41-108

Ark. Code § 5-41-108

California

Cal. Civil Code § 1708.7, Cal Penal Code§646.9

Cal. Penal Code §§ 422, 653.2, 653m

Colorado

Colo. Rev. Stat. §§ 18-602,18-9-111

Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-9-111

Connecticut

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-182b, 53a-183

Delaware

Del. Code tit. 11 § 1311

Florida

Fla. Stat.§ 784.048

Fla. Stat.§ 784.048

Georgia

Georgia Code § 16-5-90

Hawaii

Hawaii Rev. Stat. § 711-1106
Idaho Idaho Stat. §§ 18-7905,18-7906

Illinois

720 ILCS §§ 5/12-7.5,740 ILCS 21/10

720 ILCS §§ 135/1-2, 135/1-3, 135/2

Indiana

Ind. Code § 35-45-2-2

Iowa

Iowa Code § 708.7

Kansas

Kan. Stat. § 21-3438

Kentucky

Louisiana

La. Rev. Stat. §§ 14:40.2, 14:40.3

Maine

Me. Rev. Stat. tit 17A § 210A(see 2007 Me. Laws, Ch. 685, sec. 3)

Maryland

Md. Code tit. 3 § 3-805

Massachusetts

Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 265 § 43

Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 265 § 43A

Michigan

Mich. Comp. Laws §§ 750.411h, 750.411i

Mich. Comp. Laws§ 750.411s

Minnesota

Minn. Stat. § 609.749

Minn. Stat. § 609.795

Mississippi

Miss. Code §§97-45-15, 97-45-17, 97-3-107

Miss. Code § 97-29-45

Missouri

Mo. Rev. Stat. § 565.225

Mo. Rev. Stat. §565.090

Montana

Mont. CodeAnn. § 45-5-220

Mont. Code Ann. § 45-8-213
Nebraska

Nevada

Nev. Rev. Stat. § 200.575

New Hampshire

N.H. Rev. Stat. § 644:4
New Jersey N.J. Stat. § 2C:12-10, 2C:12-10.1*
New Mexico
N.M. Stat. § 30-3A-3 *

New York

New York Penal Law § 240.30

North Carolina

N.C. Gen. Stat. §§ 14-196.3

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-196(b)

North Dakota

N.D. Cent. Code § 12.1-17-07

Ohio

Ohio Rev. Code § 2903.211

Ohio Rev. Code §§ 2917.21(A), 2913.01(Y)

Oklahoma

Okla. Stat. tit. 21 §1173

Okla. Stat. tit. 21 §1172

Oregon

Or. Rev. Stat. §§ 163.730 to 163.732

Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.065

Pennsylvania

Pa. Cons. Stat. tit.§18 2709.1

Pa. Cons. Stat. tit. 18 § 2709(a), 2709(f)

Rhode Island

R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-52-4.2

R.I. Gen. Laws§ 11-52-4.2

South Carolina

S.C. Code §§ 16-3-1700(C), 16-3-1700(F)

S.C. Code §§ 16-3-1700(B), 16-3-1700(C), 16-17-430

South Dakota

S.D. Cod. Laws § 22-19A-1

S.D. Cod. Laws § 49-31-31

Tennessee

Tenn. Code § 39-17-315

Tenn. Code § 39-17-308

Texas

Tx. Penal Code §33.07

Utah

Utah Code§ 76-5-106.5
Utah Code§ 76-9-201

Vermont

Vt. Stat. tit. 13§§ 1061, 1062, 1063

Vt. Stat. tit. 13§ 1027

Virginia

Va. Code § 18.2-60

Va. Code § 18.2-152.7:1

Washington

Wash. Rev. Code §§ 9A.46.110,9.61.260

Wash. Rev. Code §§ 9A.46.020, 10.14.020

West Virginia

W. Va. Code § 61-3C-14a

Wisconsin

Wis. Stat. § 947.0125

Wyoming

Wyo. Stat. § 6-2-506

Territories:

 

 

Guam X.G.C.A. tit. 9 §§ 19.69, 19.70 X.G.C.A. tit. 9 §§ 19.69, 19.70

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