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California Penal Code Section 653m

Legal Research Home > California Laws > Penal Code > California Penal Code Section 653m

653m.  (a) Every person who, with intent to annoy, telephones or
makes contact by means of an electronic communication device with
another and addresses to or about the other person any obscene
language or addresses to the other person any threat to inflict
injury to the person or property of the person addressed or any
member of his or her family, is guilty of a misdemeanor. Nothing in
this subdivision shall apply to telephone calls or electronic
contacts made in good faith.
   (b) Every person who, with intent to annoy or harass, makes
repeated telephone calls or makes repeated contact by means of an
electronic communication device, or makes any combination of calls or
contact, to another person is, whether or not conversation ensues
from making the telephone call or contact by means of an electronic
communication device, guilty of a misdemeanor. Nothing in this
subdivision shall apply to telephone calls or electronic contacts
made in good faith or during the ordinary course and scope of
business.
   (c) Any offense committed by use of a telephone may be deemed to
have been committed when and where the telephone call or calls were
made or received. Any offense committed by use of an electronic
communication device or medium, including the Internet, may be deemed
to have been committed when and where the electronic communication
or communications were originally sent or first viewed by the
recipient.
   (d) Subdivision (a) or (b) is violated when the person acting with
intent to annoy makes a telephone call or contact by means of an
electronic communication device requesting a return call and performs
the acts prohibited under subdivision (a) or (b) upon receiving the
return call.
   (e) Subdivision (a) or (b) is violated when a person knowingly
permits any telephone or electronic communication under the person's
control to be used for the purposes prohibited by those subdivisions.
   (f) If probation is granted, or the execution or imposition of
sentence is suspended, for any person convicted under this section,
the court may order as a condition of probation that the person
participate in counseling.
   (g) For purposes of this section, the term "electronic
communication device" includes, but is not limited to, telephones,
cellular phones, computers, video recorders, facsimile machines,
pagers, personal digital assistants, smartphones, and any other
device that transfers signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, or
data. "Electronic communication device" also includes, but is not
limited to, videophones, TTY/TDD devices, and all other devices used
to aid or assist communication to or from deaf or disabled persons.
"Electronic communication" has the same meaning as the term defined
in Subsection 12 of Section 2510 of Title 18 of the United States
Code.

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Last modified: March 17, 2014