PC 591

PC 591

Offense

Tampering with or obstructing phone lines, malicious

Aggravated Felony (AF)

Not AF because not COV: it need not involve force or threat. See endnote at CIMT.

Crime Involving Moral Turpitude (CIMT)

Should not be CIMT but try to plead to mild acts and intent to annoy.1For purposes of § 591 malice is defined as follows: “… Someone acts maliciously when he or she intentionally does a wrongful act or when he or she acts with the unlawful intent to annoy or injure someone else.” CALCRIM 2902. The requirement of malice “functions to ensure that the proscribed conduct was a ‘deliberate and intentional act, as distinguished from an accidental or unintentional’ one.” People v. Rodarte, 223 Cal.App.4th 1158 at 1170 citing People v. Atkins (2001) 25 Cal.4th 76. Section 591 is not a specific intent crime; it requires the general intent to do the proscribed act. See Kreiling v. Field, 431 F.2d 502 (9th Cir. 1970) (upholding a § 591 conviction where a former telephone repairman moved two levers on the inside of a payphone so that he could make a free call, which then made it impossible for others to use). The disabling need not be permanent. See People v. Tafoya, 92 Cal. App. 4th 220 (Cal. App. 4th Dist. 2001) (conviction for removing battery from ex-wife’s phone when she tried to call her mother during an argument; ex-wife called from a landline instead).

Other Removal Grounds

Not COV so not deportable DV offense (but as always, keep ROC clear of threats, violence).

To ensure not wrongly charged as child abuse, keep minor V’s age out of ROC. See 243(a).

Advice and Comments

Can be good alternative to avoid deportable stalking or DV offense.

While it always is best to get 364 days or less, this wobbler is not a COV and therefore is a good substitute plea to take 1 yr or more.

2020-05-19T19:08:26+00:00Updated January 29th, 2020|