Cal. Penal Code Section 591 – Cutting or disabling a telephone line the California statute that criminalizes cutting or destroying / interfering with a phone line. In a nutshell, the statute is meant to criminalize interfering with the ability of another to communicate with the police or other from whom they might summon aid. For example, in a Domestic Violence situation, one party might smash their cell phone or land line to prevent the other from calling the police.
Cal. Penal Code Section 591 provides:
A person who unlawfully and maliciously takes down, removes, injures, disconnects, cuts, or obstructs a line of telegraph, telephone, or cable television, or any line used to conduct electricity, or any part thereof, or appurtenances or apparatus connected therewith, including, but not limited to, a backup deep cycle battery or other power supply, or severs any wire thereof, or makes an unauthorized connection with any line, other than a telegraph, telephone, or cable television line, used to conduct electricity, or any part thereof, or appurtenances or apparatus connected therewith, is subject to punishment by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine, or by imprisonment in a county jail for 16 months, two or three years pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 and a fine of up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
If you are the victim of bogus allegations of violation of Cal. Penal Code Section 591, we can help you.