Malicious Use of a Telecommunications Service, Telephone, or Device

Aggressive and passionate attorneys who are Not Afraid to Win! If you are accused of Malicious Use of a Telephone in Michigan or a similar offense, let us find a way to protect and defend you.

Charges of Malicious Use of a Telephone/Telecommunications Service

Prosecutors and police officers in Michigan routinely charge people with Malicious Use of a Telecommunications Service, Telephone, or Device. Often these charges are predicated upon an innocent attempt to de-escalate a volatile domestic situation, such as asking a spouse to delay a call for police to assist with a verbal altercation. In other cases, an impulsive or thoughtless act can violate Michigan law. It takes an aggressive, credible defense to avoid a conviction and possible incarceration because judges and prosecutors will not be handing out any breaks.

The Law

In Michigan, using a telecommunications service to harass, threaten, or terrorize is a criminal offense that can lead to fines, probation, and incarceration. The law for Malicious Use (MCL 750.540e) provides: “a person guilty of a misdemeanor who maliciously uses any service provided by a telecommunications service provider with intent to terrorize, frighten, intimidate, threaten, harass, molest, or annoy another person, or to disturb the peace and quiet of another person” by any of the following:

  • Threatening physical harm or damage to any person or property in the course of a conversation or message through the use of a telecommunications service or device.
  • Falsely and deliberately reporting by message through the use of a telecommunications service or device that a person has been injured, has suddenly taken ill, has suffered death, or has been the victim of a crime or an accident.
  • Deliberately refusing or failing to disengage a connection between a telecommunications device and another telecommunications device or between a telecommunications device and other equipment provided for the transmission of messages through the use of a telecommunications service or device.
  • Using vulgar, indecent, obscene, or offensive language or suggesting any lewd or lascivious act in the course of a conversation or message through the use of a telecommunications service or device.
  • Repeatedly initiating a telephone call and, without speaking, deliberately hanging up or breaking the telephone connection as or after the telephone call is answered.
  • Making an unsolicited commercial telephone call that is received between the hours of 9 p.m. and 9 a.m. For the purpose of this subdivision, “an unsolicited commercial telephone call” means a call made by a person or recording device on behalf of a person, corporation, or other entity, soliciting business or contributions.
  • Deliberately engaging or causing to engage the use of a telecommunications service or device of another person in a repetitive manner that causes an interruption in telecommunications service or prevents the person from utilizing their telecommunications service or device.”

A conviction for Malicious Use of a Telecommunications Service can result in fines, probation, and potentially jail time. However, it can also have severe employment and social repercussions. If you face an alleged violation of Michigan’s Malicious Use of a Telecommunications Service statute, you need a knowledgeable, aggressive defense attorney who can fight for you.

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Penalties for Malicious Use of a Telephone

If you are convicted of Malicious Use of Telecommunications Service, the penalty can include six (6) months in jail, two (2) years probation, and heavy fines. It is essential to know that Michigan law criminalizes pure speech even if the offender has no intention to follow through on any threats made. In Michigan, the accused need not direct their statements toward a specific victim; a statement directed at a group is sufficient.

If you are innocent, you have a right to fight for an acquittal at trial. If you made a mistake and have concerns about a Malicious Use of Telecommunications Service conviction, a top-level defense lawyer can plea bargain for a plea under advisement, a delayed adjudication, and a sentence without jail.

What is the Meaning of “Telecommunications Service?”

Under Michigan law, telecommunications service means any service lawfully provided for a charge or compensation to facilitate the origination, transmission, retransmission, emission, or reception of signs, data, images, signals, writings, sounds, or other intelligence or equivalence of intelligence of any nature over any telecommunications system by any method, including, but not limited to, electronic, electromagnetic, magnetic, optical, photo-optical, digital, or analog technologies.” MCL 750.219a(6)(a). This law includes telephonic and internet service for landlines, pagers, cellphones, computers, tablets, or smartphones and covers phone calls, text messages, social media access, and email services from those devices.

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Michigan Malicious Use Criminal Defense Attorney

Malicious Use of Telecommunications Services is a serious charge in Michigan. A conviction can have a significant impact on your employment opportunities, your reputation, and your freedom. If you are facing charges or accusations of this crime, you need a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer who can protect your rights and fight for your best resolution in court.

If you face Malicious Use of a Telephone charges or any similar offense, or if someone accused you of such a crime, call an experienced, dedicated criminal defense attorney with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. right away. We will find a way to help you, and we are not afraid to win! You are in the right place if you seek help from our experienced and affordable team of lawyers.

Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete an online Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.

We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

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