California Penal Code 591 PC – Damaging Phone or Electrical Lines
There are situations when people are in arguments and they're fighting and threatening each other and there's violence involved, and one party damages a phone line.
For example, pulls the phone line out of the wall or does something else while the other party is trying to call 9-1-1 trying to protect themselves.
Then that person not only will likely be charged with some sort of a domestic violence charge, but will also be charged with Penal Code Section 591 which has to do with damaging a phone line.
This includes any type of a line — when the other party is trying to get help for themselves in an emergency situation during a domestic violence case.
Defending PC 591 Damaging Phone Line
One potential defense is if it's your own house or apartment, then you certainly can't be charged with vandalism, which would be the usual charge when you start damaging phone lines.
But if you're doing that and you're pulling the phone out of the wall, even if it's your own phone line, and there's a victim involved regarding a domestic violence situation, you can and will be charged with Penal Code Section 591.
If you end up hitting the other person and hurting them in any way, then you'll likely be charged with Penal Code Section 273.5 which is the domestic violence code section for corporal injury to a spouse.
The prosecutors like to charge a bunch of charges in these domestic violence cases and the more things that the person does who ends up being criminally charged, or the defendant in the case, the more charges the prosecutors will heap on them.
Types of Domestic Violence Charges
Fortunately, for most people, damaging a phone line is not that big of a deal. The more serious charge is any type of a battery.
Penal Code Section 243(e) which is you do some sort of offensive contact or conduct towards other people, or Penal Code Section 273.5, you actually hurt the other person.
They charge all sorts of crimes. Let's say you threaten a person and rip their phone out — threaten to kill them — they'll charge you with Penal Code Section 422, which is a criminal threat and that can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor.
So, the bottom line is, if you or a loved one is charged with any type of domestic violence-related offense in Los Angeles and they've added in this charge of damaging a phone line, I encourage you to pick up the phone, make the call.
Ask to speak to attorney Ron Hedding. We can set up a meeting and I will do everything I can to help you.
Contact He Hedding Law Firm for Help
There are defenses to some of these crimes, but obviously, you're going to be defending yourself and you cannot rip the phone out of the wall in order to prevent somebody from calling 9-1-1.
That's the whole point of the Penal Code Section 591 charge.
So, make sure you don't do anything else if you've just been arrested.
You don't want to go back to the house and have any other problems. Hire an attorney as fast as possible. I stand at the ready to help you.
Hedding Law Firm is a criminal defense law firm located in Los Angeles County at 16000 Ventura Blvd #1208 Encino, CA 91436. Contact us for a free case evaluation at (213) 542-0979.