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  1. #1
    mayorsmith Guest

    Lightbulb anyone familiar with Ca. penal code 591?

    I'm in ca. this is a follow up to my post " police report makes false statements". I've been charged with a violation of ca. penal code section 591- injuring or damaging a utility line. as a result of a domestic verbal altercation between my wife and i, two deputies came to our house. my wife claims that i unplugged the phone when she tried to call a friend during this argument. the sherriff's reort claims i admitted to unplugging the phone. the female deputy that wrote the report didn't even speak to me except to tell me that my wife was going to stay at her parents for the night. ( the female deputy took a statement from my wife).there were no charges of abuse or domestic violence, or anything else, and the deputy distrct attorney filed charges on me of unhooking the phone!! which i didn't do. i've been arraigned. i need some ideas as to how to get this matter withdrawn. i can't imagine this going to trial!! remember the song by arlo guthrie "alice's restaurant" ?
    Last edited by mayorsmith; 09-26-2003 at 01:18 AM.
  2. #2
    I AM ALWAYS LIABLE is offline Senior Member
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    Re: anyone familiar with Ca. penal code 591?

    Originally posted by mayorsmith
    I'm in ca. this is a follow up to my post " police report makes false statements". I've been charged with a violation of ca. penal code section 591- injuring or damaging a utility line. as a result of a domestic verbal altercation between my wife and i, two deputies came to our house. my wife claims that i unplugged the phone when she tried to call a friend during this argument. the sherriff's reort claims i admitted to unplugging the phone. the female deputy that wrote the report didn't even speak to me except to tell me that my wife was going to stay at her parents for the night. ( the female deputy took a statement from my wife).there were no charges of abuse or domestic violence, or anything else, and the deputy distrct attorney filed charges on me of unhooking the phone!! which i didn't do. i've been arraigned. i need some ideas as to how to get this matter withdrawn. i can't imagine this going to trial!! remember the song by arlo guthrie "alice's restaurant" ?

    My response:

    When the police arrived, what was the condition of the telephone line as they observed it?

    IAAL


    California Penal Code section 591.

    A person who unlawfully and maliciously takes down, removes,
    injures, or obstructs any line of telegraph, telephone, or cable
    television, or any other line used to conduct electricity, or any
    part thereof, or appurtenances or apparatus connected therewith, or severs any wire thereof, or makes any 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 punishable by imprisonment in the state prison, or by a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500), or imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year.
  3. #3
    mayorsmith Guest

    Lightbulb re: condition of phone line

    my wife told the deputy that i "unplugged the phone line from thebase of the reciever". so i am assuming that is what the deputy saw. i didn't actually go in the room where the phone in question is located.
  4. #4
    I AM ALWAYS LIABLE is offline Senior Member
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    My response:

    In a heightened state of agitation, it would be extremely unlikely that it was your wife who unplugged the telephone.

    You'll be convicted on circumstantial evidence, at the very least.

    I think you had better read the case of:
    People v. Tafoya (2001) 92 Cal.App.4th 220 [111 Cal.Rptr.2d 681]

    You're pretty much screwed.

    In order to prove this crime, each of the following elements must be proved:

    "1. A person took down, removed, injured, or obstructed any telephone line, or appurtenance or apparatus connected to the telephone line; and

    "2. That person acted maliciously and unlawfully."

    "The words 'malice' and 'maliciously' mean a wish to vex, annoy or injure another person, or an intent to do a wrongful act." (CALJIC No. 1.22 (6th ed. 1996).)


    Good luck - - and, if it's of any consolation to you, there are only two cases on the subject of section 591, one of which is quoted above. And, in both of those cases the defendants were convicted. It looks like you're going to be number three.

    IAAL
  5. #5
    mayorsmith Guest

    Lightbulb re: ca. code 591

    i hope you are wrong, but let me point out my theory as it were. when she was trying to shove me out of the doorway, she had the phone in one hand with the phone's receiver cradled with her shoulder up to her ear. and, the wall jack in that bedroom was never installed correctly, the mounting screws are way too short, and they only went into the sheetrock. this wall jack has pulled out fromthe wall on numerous occaisions, such as when vacuming inthat room and moving the phone line out of the way. i think that she was so hysterical that she did in fact pull the phone line out, and in her state she grabbed her cell phone in that room and called her friend. did i hear anyone say hormones ? i took some really good photos of the wall jack to my attorney.
  6. #6
    I AM ALWAYS LIABLE is offline Senior Member
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    My response:

    Except for one, little minor point that you're not going to be able to "explain away" - - in their report, the police have noted that it was YOUR WIFE who told them that it was YOU that pulled the telephone line from the junction box. Not her.

    Okay, so you've got pictures of a lousy junction box installation. So what?

    That obviously also shows that the little wires inside were torn away from their screws, and vacuuming doesn't tear the wires out. Your wife is going to be their "star" witness.

    When you're ready to file for Dissolution, let me know.

    IAAL
  7. #7
    mayorsmith Guest

    Lightbulb re: familiar with Ca code 591

    i am told that the police report is inadmissable as evidence. the claim that i admitted to unplugging the phone is considered hearsay. is this correct ? the prosecution would have to have the deputies testify to the fact that i admitted to the phone unplugging. and wouldn't my wife have to testify that i did unplug the phone? and if she said i unplugged the phone and the deputy says she saw the wall jack pulled away from the wall, doesn't that give 2 conflicting stories? how then can they prove i did this? and the female deputy will have to commit perjury to claim i admitted to said deed, or that she interviewed me at all, which she did not.
  8. #8
    compre7360 is offline Junior Member
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    I don't want him to be number 3, or me number 4...

    I can't believe there's only been 2 convicted trials for this...is it something new the state law is using?

    Here's my case....


    I was arrested on 4 counts of domestic violence last month. My case got moved from criminal court to domestic violence court, and the charges were dropped to one misdemeanor charge of CA penal code 591, with DV terms. Today, I pleaded not guilty, and it was moved back to criminal court for next Monday, I am meeting with my public defender tomorrow. I did throw the phone on the floor, however, this phone had not been working correctly, not making a connection to the base for the last 6 months. I have witness to testify. I did crack the display, and it could be turn in for evidence, at this point it has dont been. During my arrest, I made no statements, but didn't ask for an attorney during arrest. It is a he says, she says case, with no witnesses.
    My questions are the following:
    Does having the case moved back to criminal court, change the charges that I could of had if I would pleaded guilty today in domestic court? I was looking at one year anger classes, $2500 fines, and 3 years formal probation.
    Does it make any difference in this case if the other land line phone was working, and the cell phone of the person who called 911, and that I did not prevent them from ultimately calling 911?

    This whole case is BS, and there is no evidence but the phone, with cracked display...she was looking for a reason to get me kicked out of my house, the house I had for 10 years before supporting her unemployed butt for 3 years.

    Stuff like this can cause anger....and I would be fine with the anger classes, I just don't want 3 years formal probation.

    Thanks to any feedback
  9. #9
    Antigone* is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by compre7360 View Post
    I can't believe there's only been 2 convicted trials for this...is it something new the state law is using?

    Here's my case....


    I was arrested on 4 counts of domestic violence last month. My case got moved from criminal court to domestic violence court, and the charges were dropped to one misdemeanor charge of CA penal code 591, with DV terms. Today, I pleaded not guilty, and it was moved back to criminal court for next Monday, I am meeting with my public defender tomorrow. I did throw the phone on the floor, however, this phone had not been working correctly, not making a connection to the base for the last 6 months. I have witness to testify. I did crack the display, and it could be turn in for evidence, at this point it has dont been. During my arrest, I made no statements, but didn't ask for an attorney during arrest. It is a he says, she says case, with no witnesses.
    My questions are the following:
    Does having the case moved back to criminal court, change the charges that I could of had if I would pleaded guilty today in domestic court? I was looking at one year anger classes, $2500 fines, and 3 years formal probation.
    Does it make any difference in this case if the other land line phone was working, and the cell phone of the person who called 911, and that I did not prevent them from ultimately calling 911?

    This whole case is BS, and there is no evidence but the phone, with cracked display...she was looking for a reason to get me kicked out of my house, the house I had for 10 years before supporting her unemployed butt for 3 years.

    Stuff like this can cause anger....and I would be fine with the anger classes, I just don't want 3 years formal probation.

    Thanks to any feedback

    This forum does not look kindly on necroposters. Stuff like this can cause anger
  10. #10
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by compre7360 View Post
    I can't believe there's only been 2 convicted trials for this...is it something new the state law is using?

    Here's my case....


    I was arrested on 4 counts of domestic violence last month. My case got moved from criminal court to domestic violence court, and the charges were dropped to one misdemeanor charge of CA penal code 591, with DV terms. Today, I pleaded not guilty, and it was moved back to criminal court for next Monday, I am meeting with my public defender tomorrow. I did throw the phone on the floor, however, this phone had not been working correctly, not making a connection to the base for the last 6 months. I have witness to testify. I did crack the display, and it could be turn in for evidence, at this point it has dont been. During my arrest, I made no statements, but didn't ask for an attorney during arrest. It is a he says, she says case, with no witnesses.
    My questions are the following:
    Does having the case moved back to criminal court, change the charges that I could of had if I would pleaded guilty today in domestic court? I was looking at one year anger classes, $2500 fines, and 3 years formal probation.
    Does it make any difference in this case if the other land line phone was working, and the cell phone of the person who called 911, and that I did not prevent them from ultimately calling 911?

    This whole case is BS, and there is no evidence but the phone, with cracked display...she was looking for a reason to get me kicked out of my house, the house I had for 10 years before supporting her unemployed butt for 3 years.

    Stuff like this can cause anger....and I would be fine with the anger classes, I just don't want 3 years formal probation.

    Thanks to any feedback
    First, it would be best to start your own thread on this rather than adding to one that is 7 years old.

    Second, if all you are facing is 591 PC then you're lucky. Yes, they can make a case with her statement alone. If you took the phone from her, unplugged it, or somehow obstructed her use of the phone this charge can be applied. There has been some mixed interpretations of this in recent years, but it can still be charged as a felony.

    591. A person who unlawfully and maliciously takes down, removes,
    injures, or obstructs any line of telegraph, telephone, or cable
    television, or any other line used to conduct electricity, or any
    part thereof, or appurtenances or apparatus connected therewith, or
    severs any wire thereof, or makes any 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 punishable by
    imprisonment in the state prison, or by a fine not exceeding five
    hundred dollars ($500), or imprisonment in the county jail not
    exceeding one year.

    It is a throwback to the AT&T monopoly days when the phones and the lines belonged to Ma Bell, but when that changed there was some push to remove this section. As I understand it some counties will not charge this section and will, instead, go with sections concerning the prevention of a person to report a crime to the police, witness intimidation, etc.

    So, keep quiet and listen to your attorney as this can be very serious.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  11. #11
    compre7360 is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks, for the reply, I had no ideal this post was 7 years old, I just saw the date 9/29 today....and not used to using these types of messaging boards, I would rather play farmville.

    I'll repost my post as new....

    Thanks for the advice of keeping quiet, only thing I have seen to done right during the arrest.

    And, I love the Reagan quote, we need another like him, have you seen his 2012 address on youtube????

    Thanks again, will not post my name due to various reasons.
  12. #12
    Jrojas is offline Junior Member
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    Reaching out for help with 591 PC

    Quote Originally Posted by compre7360 View Post
    Thanks, for the reply, I had no ideal this post was 7 years old, I just saw the date 9/29 today....and not used to using these types of messaging boards, I would rather play farmville.

    I'll repost my post as new....

    Thanks for the advice of keeping quiet, only thing I have seen to done right during the arrest.

    And, I love the Reagan quote, we need another like him, have you seen his 2012 address on youtube????

    Thanks again, will not post my name due to various reasons.

    Hello,

    I was recently arrested and charged with PC 591 and I would be highly appreciative if you could give me any information on the outcome of your case and if you had any advice for someone in a similar situation. As someone who went through this personally, you know how it feels to have the legal system involved in a personal argument, and that this law is ridiculous for something like a thrown cell phone. I hope you can help.

    Thank you in advance.
  13. #13
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jrojas View Post
    Hello,

    I was recently arrested and charged with PC 591 and I would be highly appreciative if you could give me any information on the outcome of your case and if you had any advice for someone in a similar situation. As someone who went through this personally, you know how it feels to have the legal system involved in a personal argument, and that this law is ridiculous for something like a thrown cell phone. I hope you can help.

    Thank you in advance.
    The original thread is ten years old, and the poster you refer to was here more than 3 years ago. I would suggest you begin your own thread on the matter.

    On the face of it, I don't believe that PC 591 would cover the destruction or throwing of a cell phone. However, if done to dissuade or prevent someone from calling for help, for the police, or for some other assistance, then that COULD be a crime - albeit a different one. And PC 591.5 DOES cover this action:

    591.5. A person who unlawfully and maliciously removes, injures,
    destroys, damages, or obstructs the use of any wireless communication
    device with the intent to prevent the use of the device to summon
    assistance or notify law enforcement or any public safety agency of a
    crime is guilty of a misdemeanor.
    Last edited by CdwJava; 12-23-2013 at 04:12 AM.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  14. #14
    HighwayMan is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jrojas View Post
    .,.I would be highly appreciative if you could give me any information on the outcome of your case...

    The individual you are addressing is long gone. Don't necropost.
  15. #15
    FlyingRon is offline Senior Member
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    I love these threads with IAAL. Now there's a name I haven't hear that name in many a year.

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