Types of Harassing and Obscene Communication (720 ILCS 5/26-3):
Harassing and Obscene Communications can include: email, text, instant message (such as Snapchat), and telephone communication. Additionally, other types of communication can constitute the communication element.
What is harassing or obscene?
As beauty is in the eye of the beholder (i.e., each person sees things differently), the same holds true for what is harassing or obscene. A court will look at not only what was said but also how it was said. Furthermore, it will look at how many times it was said and when. This is all taken into account to determine if the statements are harassing or obscene. Additionally, a court will review any response by the person claiming it was offensive to determine if it meets the criteria of the statute.
Court Case Example:
I recently won a case where my client was charged with sending obscene text messages, and the messages were quite mean. The messages made fun of a woman’s heritage, her family, and herself.
At court, the prosecutor presented all of the text messages to the judge. Although I did not have my client testify, I did very throughly cross-examine the complaining witness (the woman) and the police officer who made the arrest.
I was able to show the court that there were messages going back and forth and that the prosecutor only had my client’s messages. In other words, there are two sides to every story. The court agreed with my theory of the case, and my client was found not guilty.
3 Steps to Take to Protect Yourself:
Where can I find the law on Harassing and Obscene Communication?
For more specific information and to review the facts of your case, learn about a no-obligation consultation HERE.