Can You Be Charged for Making a Prank Call?

What may start as a prank call could soon turn into criminal charges. While it may seem like a harmless joke, prank calls can be considered illegal in some states.

Are you afraid you may be charged or convicted of a crime for making prank calls? Here's what you need to know about potential criminal charges.

Prank Calls Can Be a Crime

Prank calls can be charged as a crime if they violate a state's telecommunications or harassment laws. Depending on the severity of the call, it could result in misdemeanors or even felony charges.

For example, if the prank call is meant to cause fear or panic, it can be considered a terroristic threat and result in criminal charges. 

Additionally, if the person on the receiving end of the call suffers from physical or mental distress due to your calls, you could also get charged with assault.

Penalties for Prank Calls

The penalties for making prank calls vary from state to state. Generally speaking, minor prank calls such as those involving obscene language or threats may result in misdemeanors with fines, probation, or jail time.

More serious calls involving threats of violence or damage to property may result in felony charges which can carry much harsher penalties such as large fines and lengthy prison sentences.

How to Defend Yourself Against These Charges

If you are facing criminal charges for making prank calls, it is important to take the matter seriously and seek legal guidance. A defense attorney can help build a strong case based on your individual circumstances and work to get the charges dropped or reduced.

Additionally, if you have been falsely accused of making prank calls, an experienced lawyer can help protect your rights and prove your innocence.

For instance, your attorney may prove that you were not the one who made the call or that the call was not intended to cause distress or fear.

It is also important to remember that the burden of proof lies with the prosecution and they must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of making prank calls.

You May Need a Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are charged with a prank call-related crime, it is important to speak with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Depending on the circumstances of your case, an attorney may be able to help you get the charges reduced or even dismissed altogether.