North Carolina Criminal Law Chapter(s) 14-196(a)(3): Harassing by Repeated Telephone Calls (Misdemeanor)
Under North Carolina Criminal Law Chapter14-196(a)(3), the crime of harassing by repeated phone calls is a Class 2 misdemeanor which involves repeatedly calling another person for the purpose of harassing, terrifying, threatening and/or embarrassing any person at the number called.
To prove a charge of Harassing by Repeated Phone Calls, the State must be able to prove the following elements (beyond a reasonable doubt) to a judge or jury as the case may be:
- The Defendant repeatedly telephoned (name person or telephone number) AND
- The Defendant did so for the purpose of abusing, annoying, threatening, terrifying, harassing, embarrassing (name person) any person at the phone number called
“Harass” is defined as creating an unpleasant or hostile situation for especially by uninvited and unwelcome verbal or physical conduct1. Examples
Defendant just broke up with his girlfriend of six years after he learned she was cheating with her co-worker. Defendant is devastated and angry. Defendant is determined to get his revenge. Defendant finds out the co-worker’s number via a mutual friend. Defendant goes to phone booth and makes several calls over the next few hours threatening to kill or seriously injure the co-worker. Defendant uses a device to alter his voice. Co-worker calls the police. Police are able to trace Defendant’s calls to that particular phone booth. Witnesses tell police they noticed a man fitting Defendant’s description making several phone calls from 7 pm -11 pm, the same time frame co-worker received the threatening calls. Defendant can be arrested for a violation of Criminal Law Chapter 14-196(a)(3).
Two drunk fraternity brothers (Defendants) decide to prank call a girl they both like. Defendants call the girls phone 20 times throughout the night making inappropriate sexual advances and telling her they are standing outside her off-campus house. Girl gets frightened and calls the police. Defendants can be charged with a violation of Criminal Law Chapter 14-196(a)(3).2. Related Offenses
For other related offenses and topics of interest, please click the following links below:
- Domestic Violence, Assault & Battery
- What are the Top 3 Things to do if Arrested
- Communicating Threats
If the evidence shows the accused did not engage in a repeated pattern of harassing conduct related to phone calls, the Defendant should not be convicted of Harassing Phone Calls under North Carolina Criminal Law Chapter 14-196(a)(3).
The Defendant, the accused of criminal wrongdoing, carries no Burden of Proof.
It is not a defense that the harassed individual was not your intended target. It is a violation of criminal law to harass any individual on the receiving end of the phone call.4. Penalties for Harassing Phone Calls
The crime of Harassing by Repeated Telephone Calls is a Class 2 Misdemeanor which is punishable by up to 60 days in a North Carolina County Jail and/or a fine in the Court’s discretion.5. Criminal Defense for Harassing Phone Calls
If you have been charged with Harassing by Repeated Phone Calls, we think it’s important to speak with an experienced criminal attorney right away. Stop texting, emailing, and/or calling the alleged victim, even if they reach out to you.
Exercise your legal (constitutional) right to remain silent. Take the fifth. Assert your Miranda Rights.
Do not answer questions if contacted by law enforcement.
Politely ask, “May I leave now?”
If handcuffed or if arrested, ask for a lawyer and the opportunity to consult with legal counsel.
Do not engage law enforcement in a conversation.
Do not provide police access to your phone, phone records, messages, texts, computers, computer files, social media accounts, private messaging, etc.
A misdemeanor conviction involving harassing behavior can have a detrimental impact on your ability to secure gainful employment.
You and your case deserve an experienced lawyer. Your liberties are potentially at stake. Please call Powers Law Firm PA today.
Please call 704-342-4357 immediately.