Penal Code 591 PC

PC 591 – Damaging Phone or Electrical Lines

Penal Code 591 PC - Damaging Phone or Electrical Lines

Damaging Phone or Electrical Lines – Table of Contents

Penal Code 591 PC: Damaging Phone or Electrical Lines

What is the definition of damaging phone or electrical lines under PC 591?

It is unlawful for a person to willfully and maliciously take down, remove, injure, obstruct, or make an unauthorized connection with any telephone, cable or electrical line, or any apparatus connected with it or severs any wire that connects the telephone, cable, or electrical line to the apparatus.

What are the mental states required for a violation of PC 591?

Maliciousness is to desire the consequences of a result knowing the act can result in substantial damage, death, or serious bodily injury. Willfulness is clear acknowledgement that an act is unlawful and desire its completion. Both mental states are conducted for the personal gain to result in the misfortune or loss to those who might benefit from the personal, residential, or commercial use of a telephone, utility, or cable service.

How are telephone, utility and electrical lines ascribed under PC 591?

Telephone lines run through copper or aluminum wires that are attached to utility poles above ground that extend to a transmission box. Modern telephone lines run underground but still extend to a transmission box. The transmission box is connected by a pair of cables that run into the phone or business through a junction box that is wired to a telephone jax that connects telephones from the wall.

Utility lines are mounted on utility poles overhead, the wire is extended from the poles by cables into elevated ground transformers that lead the wires to switch boxes that are sealed can encased. From the switch boxes the utility lines run under ground and are connected an underground or above ground transformer that can charge the voltage needs of electricity for residential and commercial consumers.

Electrical lines are the connecting lines that ensure a continuous charge of electricity to either telephone or utility lines to supply electrical currents into phones and other appliances.

Sentencing Penal Code 591 PC

What are the penalties associated with a violation of Penal Code 591 PC?

A violation of Penal Code 591 PC is a misdemeanor or felony. If charged as a misdemeanor, the penalties for the violation include confinement not exceeding 1 year in jail, with fines not exceeding $1000 dollars. If the violation is charged as a felony, the penalties for the violation include confinement terms of 16 months, 2, 3 years in prison with fines not exceeding $10,000 dollars.

What are examples of violation of Penal Code 591 PC?

  1. Jesse did not like his neighbors. At night every time his neighbors were working online, Jessie ran outside to their backyard and poured a combination of dry ice and ammonia on their transmission box. He did this three times in the month. This required the utility and telephone companies to come and repair the accessories and wires for which cost the neighbors lots of money. The last time Jesse did this, they did not know the neighbors installed a hidden camera. They called the police. Jesse was arrested.
  2. Devin did not want his wife to leave home to visit her brother’s graduation from Medical School. She picked up the phone to call her mom on their land line and Devin pulled the phone wire from the wall. She then attempted to make a video call from their television and Devin cut the wiring connected to the TV. In a fury Devin went outside and smashed the circuit box. His wife called the police, and he was arrested.

Defending Penal Code 591 PC

What are defenses to a violation of Penal Code 591 PC?

  1. Lack of the Mental State –
    • Voluntary Intoxication.
    • Lack of Malice
    • Duress
  2. Necessity

Accused of Damaging Phone or Electrical Lines?

If you are charged with a violation of Penal Code 591 PC call The Esfandi Law Group. Contact Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Seppi Esfandi, principal attorney of The Esfandi Law Group.

Call Us for a FREE Case Review: 310-274-6529

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Lara S.
June 4, 2018
Seppi had my case reduced to just an infraction, and thanks to him I was able to keep my job. Jorge was extremely helpful too, the reason I went with this law firm. Overall pleased.

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