Cell phones are a lifeline in so many ways. They keep us entertained and organized, but more importantly, they enable us to call for help. For this reason, intentionally destroying someone else’s cell phone is a crime, California Penal Code 591.5 PC injuring a wireless device. The criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of David Lehr can help you if you are charged with 591.5 PC in a domestic violence case.

Destruction of a Cellphone

Getting accused of destroying a cell phone belonging to your spouse, partner, ex, or a family member who lives with you is serious business, even if you have never physically harmed the person. Control and intimidation are part of abusive relationships, and if the jury thinks that you were trying to control the victim by cutting her off from the outside world, they are more likely to believe the other domestic violence-related accusations against you.

591.5 PC is not the only phone-breaking offense that can occur in domestic violence cases. You might also get charged with 141 PC tampering with evidence. If you cut a landline phone line, you can get charged with 591 PC damaging phone or electrical line.

  •  If you threw the phone without meaning to break it, the fact that you threw the phone at all shows that you have a violent temper.
  • If you tried to grab the phone from your partner’s hands, the fact that you tried so hard to see his phone shows that you are controlling.
  • The prosecution might try to argue that you broke the phone so the police wouldn’t see the threatening texts you sent.
  •  If your partner tried to grab your phone out of jealousy, and you were just trying to stop her, this may not count against you.
  • How credible the accusations about you violently breaking a phone are depends on the other evidence against you.

Injuring a wireless device is a misdemeanor, and the maximum penalty is one year in county jail.  Not everyone who gets convicted of it goes to jail. If you get convicted of breaking your partner’s phone or of breaking your own phone during a dispute with your partner, this can still be bad news for you in civil cases related to domestic violence. The conviction may make family court judges regard you as a less trustworthy parent; it will not help you get the parenting time you want in a child custody case.

As a defendant, you are innocent until proven guilty. These are some possible defenses you can use if you are facing criminal charges under California Penal Code 591.5 PC injuring a wireless device:

  • Your partner is lying about how the phone got broken. It actually got broken when she dropped it, but she falsely accused you of breaking it to make you appear violent.
  • You broke the phone accidentally. For example, you stepped on the phone by accident while walking away to deescalate a fight with your partner, so there was no malicious intent.
  • You were acting in self-defense by pushing your partner’s hands away from you.  The fact that it caused your partner to drop the phone, causing it to break, was an accident.

There are many steps between getting accused of breaking your partner’s cell phone and getting convicted.  A Ventura criminal defense lawyer can help you get a successful outcome in your case.

If you have been charged with 

injuring a wireless device, call 805-477-0070.  

We can provide you with a free case review.

This web page is for informational purposes only. The Law Offices of David Lehr aims to provide accurate information to the public and the highest quality representation to defendants in criminal courts in the Ventura area. Criminal defense lawyers cannot provide legal advice outside of an attorney/client relationship.  They also cannot guarantee that a jury will find you not guilty.  Contact the Law Offices of David Lehr in Ventura, California to schedule a consultation about your injuring a wireless device case.

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