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Old 02-09-2009, 10:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 5
Wink Loophole? Telephone vs Cell in harassment charge (short)

I was charged and arrested for 4 text messages I sent to my former spouse. His wife filed charges. My arrest warrant (not police report) states only that "(I) called the home of (wife) with the intent to harass (wife)".

The charge I was listed as violating was "harassment by telephone" under sec 720ILcs.

However, IL has a specific section after that on "harassment through electronic communication."

(b) As used in this Act:
(1) "Electronic communication" means any transfer of signs, signals, writings, images, sounds, data or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photoelectric or photo-optical system.

I think a cell, TECHNICALLY would fall under the electronic category. TECHNICALLY, I think it could mean I was arrested on the wrong charges. Might be a far stretch, but technicalities seem to be the way to go lately.
I think the officer may have written down the incorrect statute code.

Being that there are two different sections, one for telephones and one for all other electronic means of communication, could I attempt to have the harassment charges dismissed based solely on the fact that a cell phone was used, as opposed to telephone? Very curious about this.
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Old 02-10-2009, 05:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 3,901
Good thinking, but no, it means the same thing. Cell phone, telephone, pay phone--all the same.

I successfully had a woman prosecuted for usage of her cell phone for sending text messages and vulgar photo images under the telephone laws in my state.

[COLOR=black]To [COLOR=blue]ERR [/COLOR]is human.[/COLOR]
To [COLOR=darkorchid]FORGIVE [/COLOR]is divine.
[FONT=Comic Sans MS][FONT=Times New Roman][COLOR=red]NEITHER[/COLOR] is my policy.[/FONT] [/FONT]
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