Penal Code 631 PC

PC 631 – Wiretapping

PC 631 - Wiretapping

Wiretapping – Table of Contents

Penal Code 631 PC: Wiretapping Overview

What is the definition of wiretapping under Penal Code 631 PC?

Wiretapping is intent to willfully record or eavesdrop on any a private conversation or telephone call. Specifically, it is the utilization of any device, equipment, software, or application that enables the unauthorized, reading or the attempt to read any form of communication that passes over any wire, line, cable, or circuitry.

What does how wiretapping violate a right to privacy under PC 631?

Wiretapping acquires personal information. There is a privacy right is to retain that information by the author or communicator of that information for its designated purpose. These privacy rights must be insured by communication providers that create television, utility, and telephone content through telephonic or utility wires that are regulated by state and federal governments. There must be an objective expectation of privacy for which a reasonable person would perceive that under similar circumstances there would be no intrusion of the quiet and enjoyment of their home without interference from uninvited persons.

Are there any exceptions to an expectation of privacy under PC 631?

Yes, utility, television, cable, and electrical companies can lawfully intercept communication to protect the public from a crime, enforce a right, and or entitlement vested in the companies, the State of California, and the Federal Government.

What is the mental state required for a violation of Penal Code 631?

An intentional interference must be demonstrated by purpose and conduct as, “with substantial certainty”. This means that there can be an objective assumption that a person wishes to capture the confidential data or information that streaming from electrical lines for personal objectives knowing that the information was extracted from circumstances for which a reasonable person would not expect an intrusion.

Willful is a higher degree of purpose than intent. Willfulness is the conscious desire to have the a proscribed at break the law, knowing the conduct is unlawful. This means the a person knows wiretapping is illegal and does it regardless of the effects or results it causes, and desires the achievement for personal gain.

Sentencing Penal Code 631

What are the penalties to a violation of Penal Code 631 PC?

A violation of Penal Code 631 PC is a wobbler. If the violation is charged as a misdemeanor, the penalty includes confinement not exceeding 1 year in jail and fines not exceeding $2,500 dollars. If the violation is charged as a felony, the penalty includes confinement with terms of 16 months, 2 to 3 years in prison with fines not exceeding $10,000 dollars.

What is an example of a violation of Penal Code 631 PC?

  • Denny, really wanted to know how his neighbor, a law school professor, would not write him a letter of recommendation. Denny, went to the local spy equipment store, and told the owner that he needs to listen to his neighbor’s phone call because he suspected was a child molester. The spy store owner and sold him Telephone Communication Inception Software. After the purchase, the owner called the police. Denny went to a transmission box located near his home and installed the software the equipment. A neighbor witnessed what Denny was doing, made eye contact with Denny but went back inside. The neighbor called the police. Denny was arrested.

Defending Penal Code 631

What are defenses to a violation of Penal Code 631 PC?

  1. Accomplice Withdrawal
  2. No Overt Act – the equipment was not entirely installed nor was a conversation heard
  3. Necessity
  4. Duress
  5. Unauthorized use – The equipment is used for lawful purpose but for the occasion utilized by an unauthorized person

Need a Lawyer?

If you are charged with a violation of Penal Code 631 PC, call The Esfandi Law Group. Contact Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Seppi Esfandi, principal attorney of The Esfandi Law Group.

Seppi Esfandi is an expert attorney with over 20 years of practice defending a variety of criminal cases.

Need a Criminal Defense Attorney? CALL NOW: 310-274-6529

Seppi Esfandi is an Expert Criminal Defense Attorney who has over 20 years of practice defending a variety of criminal cases.

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Lara S.
June 4, 2018
Seppi had my case reduced to just an infraction, and thanks to him I was able to keep my job. Jorge was extremely helpful too, the reason I went with this law firm. Overall pleased.

How to Win Your Case

We cannot stress enough that you read, understand and follow these 10 basic rules if you are criminally charged or under investigation:

  1. Don’t ever talk to the police
  2. Do not discuss your case with anyone
  3. Everything you tell your lawyer is confidential
  4. Tell police you need to contact your attorney
  5. Never consent to any search by the police
  6. If the police knock on your door, don't answer!
  7. Realize the consequences of a criminal conviction
  8. Your lawyer (not you) will contact any witnesses
  9. Information on your cell phone is evidence
  10. Early Intervention is the key

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