Interference with the Use of a Telephone in Virginia is a misdemeanor criminal offense in Virginia and is charged under Virginia Code §18.2-164. The statute makes it a Class 2 misdemeanor to prevent or delay a call or message being sent by landline or cellular telephone. Class 2 misdemeanors are punishable by zero to six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.00.
Virginia Code section §18.2-164 also covers the damage or destruction of any telephone line or pole. It prohibits the copying of any message sent over the telephone, including text messages sent on a cellular telephone. It also prohibits conspiring with others to do all of the things mentioned above.
When the Interference With the Use of a Telephone is done with the intent to prevent a call for help from firefighters, rescue personnel, or law enforcement, the law enhances the penalties. It makes the crime a Class 1 misdemeanor. This is punishable by zero to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500.00. This particular offense is commonly seen in court cases where the person arrested also has a domestic assault and battery charge.
The person who is charged is given a court date in the local county Juvenile and Domestic Relations General District Court when the offense is paired with a domestic violence charge. When it is not paired with a domestic violence charge, the case is commonly heard in the General District Court. Emergency Protective Orders, prohibiting further contact or abuse of the alleged victim, are often issued against defendants at the same time as arrest.
The law office recommends that the client complete community service before the court date and obtain a letter from the non-profit agency stating the number of hours completed. The lawyer may also recommend pre-court counseling or anger management services. This pre-trial preparation may help the client get the charges dismissed in court.
It is important to protect your criminal record and secure your future. A clean record can improve opportunities for security clearances, job openings and applications for immigration visas or citizenship.
The law office has a great deal of experience helping clients defend domestic battery and interference with telephone charges in the local Juvenile and Domestic Relations courts. If you have a pending court case for these types of cases, contact the law office to request a free, initial consultation. The law office serves counties throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia, including Fairfax, Prince William, the City of Alexandria, Arlington County, Warren County, Shenandoah County, Stafford County, the Northern Neck areas of Westmoreland and King George, and Loudoun County.