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Harassing Phone Calls – A Misdemeanor in NC

If you’ve been charged with making a harassing phone call, you probably have been accused of violating NCGS 14-196 which makes such acts a Class 2 misdemeanor. Assuming you have never been in trouble before with the law, if convicted, you would be sentenced to a “suspended sentence” (no jail time) and either community service or fines, or maybe anger management classes. But you would not be eligible for jail.

I’ve reproduced the section from NCGS 14-196 below for your information.

If you have any questions about this crime, feel free to call me, a Raleigh criminal lawyer, at [#phone#] [#hours#].

N.C.G.S. 14-196. Using profane, indecent or threatening language to any person over telephone; annoying or harassing by repeated telephoning or making false statements over telephone. 

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person:

(1) To use in telephonic communications any words or language of a profane, vulgar, lewd, lascivious or indecent character, nature or connotation;

(2) To use in telephonic communications any words or language threatening to inflict bodily harm to any person or to that person’s child, sibling, spouse, or dependent or physical injury to the property of any person, or for the purpose of extorting money or other things of value from any person;

(3) To telephone another repeatedly, whether or not conversation ensues, for the purpose of abusing, annoying, threatening, terrifying, harassing or embarrassing any person at the called number;

(4) To make a telephone call and fail to hang up or disengage the connection with the intent to disrupt the service of another;

(5) To telephone another and to knowingly make any false statement concerning death, injury, illness, disfigurement, indecent conduct or criminal conduct of the person telephoned or of any member of his family or household with the intent to abuse, annoy, threaten, terrify, harass, or embarrass;

(6) To knowingly permit any telephone under his control to be used for any purpose prohibited by this section.

(b) Any of the above offenses may be deemed to have been committed at either the place at which the telephone call or calls were made or at the place where the telephone call or calls were received. For purposes of this section, the term “telephonic communications” shall include communications made or received by way of a telephone answering machine or recorder, telefacsimile machine, or computer modem.

(c) Anyone violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.



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