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Can I press charges against someone who has hacked into my cell phone voicemail box? and how do I prove it?

San Diego, CA |

I am being stalked and harrased by someone and I found out the other day they are getting into my voicemail system and deleting the messages of theirs I have saved. I am opening a case and filing a restraining order aginst this person and would like to add charges of hacking into the system as well, but don't know if I can?

Attorney Answers 3


There are laws in California that make it illegal to access your personal information by hacking, but you cannot "press charges" against someone. Only the District Attorney can file criminal charges.

You can report this incident to your local law enforcement agency. The investigators will take a report, which will be forwarded to the DA, who will decide whether to file a criminal complaint.

Please understand that this is a general discussion of legal principles by a California lawyer and does not create an attorney/client relationship. It's impossible to give detailed, accurate advice based on a few sentences on a website (and you shouldn't provide too much specific information about your legal matter on a public forum like this site, anyway). You should always seek advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction who can give you an informed opinion after reviewing all of the relevant information.

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The unauthorized access to your voicemail system is both a state and federal crime. Stalking you is a state crime. The evidence to prove the matter as to your deleted voicemail is in the phone company records. You should file a complaint with your local police department.

Depending on the severity of the conduct, the potential future threat from this person, and your financial constraints, you should consider hiring a criminal defense attorney with an investigative background who would be willing to conduct a short investigation and put together a report for law enforcement setting forth the facts and analyzing the various legal violations. Many companies and some individuals hire experienced attorneys to do this in order to increase the speed and likelihood of law enforcement pursuing a potential case as well as to represent their interests as the victim of crime throughout the legal process. It can be expensive, depending on the case, but it can be very effective and therefore well worth it, depending on the case. I've done this before and I would be happy to discuss this with you briefly on the phone. I've added some weblinks with my background.

I hope this works out for you.

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You can't press criminal charges, the DA has to do that, but you can and should report this to the police for referral to law enforcement officials.

As for a civil claims, Is the voicemail on your personal phone, or your employers'? I think you would have causes of action against this stalker for trespass to chattels, and for invasion of privacy, and perhaps for emotional distress, but you may need some techincal expertise to prove that this stalker is the one doing it, as you'll need some evidence of the stalking for your TRO.

Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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