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Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  30 years legal experience
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I provided a phone for a friend to prank call an ex, thinking

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I provided a phone for a friend to prank call an ex, thinking it was funny. he and i have not spoken a word to eachother for 6 months, and atleast 4 to 5 months before that. she left him a funny, silly message that was not threatening or aggressive at all. I was just notified that my ex is in rehab for narcotics now, which I was completely unaware of. He has been in rehab for 25 days now, and will get out next weekend. he never had his phone. so, that means that the prank call is on his voicemail. When he gets it, i am afraid that he will press charges or something. He is very emotionally unstable, an addict, and has been to jail multiple times for marijuana, and does not have a license because he has gotten it taken away for 2 years. This guy is a delinquent, but it was my phone that he was prankedd off of, although I did not actually speak on the message. I'm afraid that this completely emotionally unstable addict is going to go crazy if he hears this message, it was silly and funny but he is unpredictable and has issues with self esteem. Could I be charged? would a real case ensue? I am trying to cover all of my bases.
Good afternoon,

I'm sorry to hear of your concern

First of all, it is not illegal to prank someone over the phone. Secondly, you allowed the use of your phone---nothing more. That will not provide for any liability either.

I'm wracking my brain trying to think of a scenario that might involve a prank that was illegal and I just can't think of one---much less that by simply allowing some=one to use your phone, you somehow become liable for a practical joke.

if you want to share the nature of the prank with me I'll take a look at it, but from a criminal law standpoint I just don't see a telephone prank creating any criminal liability short of you being subject to a protective order in which you had been ordered by the court not to have any contact whatsoever with your ex---and you convinces this friend to screw with his head. So no, I just don't see any kind of an issue here for you.

You may reply back to me using the Reply to Expert link if you have additional questions; and if you do, I ask that you please keep in mind that I do not know what you may already know or with what you need help, unless you tell me.

Kindly take a moment to rate my service to you based on the understanding of the law I provided. Please understand that I have no control over the how the law impacts your particular situation, and I trust you agree that it would be unfair for me to be punished by a (negative rating) ----the first 2 stars/faces----for having been honest with you about the law.

I wish you the best in 2012,

Doug
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
okay. essentially, he emotionally abused me for 2 solid years and we broke up in fall of 2010. we had weird contact and sort-of got back together for a bit before I ended it in august 2011. Separately, I had written a nasty letter to his girlfriend telling her how he cheated on her with me (which he did) in january. He never filed any sort of criminal charges for that because it was pure opinion but not threatening or anything. I had to block his number because he had been harassing me for a long time, so I blocked his facebook and his email and his phone for 6 months. I am not worried about that situation because It was a soild 6 months ago and he had no case in the end. However, because that letter was sent to this girlfriend and now he has been pranked by one of my friends, does THIS incident make that FORMER case enough for a full on charge? It was stupid, for sure, but this was nothing like that letter. This was a friend being silly, but it was not repetitive and it was not threatening. Again, I am paranoid because this guy is an addict getting out of rehab soon. Is there any possible way that he has a case with this even though I have had him completely blocked for almost 7 months now?
Good afternoon,

You wrote: However, because that letter was sent to this girlfriend and now he has been pranked by one of my friends, does THIS incident make that FORMER case enough for a full on charge? There were no charges capable of being filed before, and none now either! You simply have not done anything illegal.

There is nothing that he can do to you, either criminally or civilly.

Would you please rate me highly now, based on my assistance to you in understanding the law.

I wish you the best in 2012,

Doug
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