Malicious Communications Law Solicitors

The law surrounding malicious communications can be confusing. A message considered malicious by a recipient may be viewed as ‘social media banter’ by the sender. That is why specialist legal advice is needed if a complaint of malicious communications is made.

The Malicious Communications Solicitors at Imran Khan and Partners have an excellent reputation for advising clients on malicious communications law.

 

Free Initial Telephone Discussion

For a free initial telephone discussion, please call us on 020 7404 3004 or email info@ikpsolicitors.com. You can also complete our online enquiry form https://www.ikandp.co.uk/contact-us

 

We are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This includes weekends and bank holidays. We can help clients based anywhere in England or Wales.

 

If you require urgent assistance, please contact us on our emergency number on 07738 802993.

What are malicious communications offences?

 

Under the Malicious Communications Act 1988, a person who sends a letter, an electronic communication, or an article to another person conveying:

  • A message that is indecent or grossly offensive or

  • A threat or

  • Information which is false and known or believed to be false by the sender

is guilty of an offence if the intent was to, cause distress or anxiety to the recipient or to any other person.

Under Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003, a person is also guilty of an offence if the purpose of their communication is to cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety to another.

Malicious communications can include:

  • Making hoax calls

  • Repeatedly contacting someone via social media in a way that may annoy or distress the recipient

  • A campaign of harassment against a person. Harassment requires the occurrence of repeated incidences and proof that alarm and distress was caused

A malicious communication need only be sent by the accused. It does not need to be received by the intended recipient.

Will I be prosecuted for a malicious communication?

The decision to prosecute for a malicious communication depends on a number of factors. For example, you may not be prosecuted if your threat was used to reinforce a demand you believed was made on reasonable grounds.

You will be prosecuted if the test for prosecution is met. The test provides for prosecution where:

  • There is a realistic prospect of conviction and

  • It is in the public interest to prosecute

 

What sentence will I get if I convicted of malicious communications offences?

 

If you are prosecuted and found guilty of a malicious communications offence you will get a criminal record, a fine, and potentially you could receive a prison sentence.

 

If you are convicted, your sentence is determined by the judge having regard to the Sentencing Guidelines.

Your culpability is considered more serious if any of the following aggravating factors are relevant:

  • Targeting of a vulnerable victim

  • Targeting offending (timing or location) to maximise effect

  • Use of threats

  • Blackmail

  • Threats to disclose intimate material or sexually explicit images

  • Targeted campaign demonstrated by multiple calls and/or wide distribution

  • False calls to emergency services

  • Offence motivated by or demonstrating hostility based on religion, race, disability, sexual orientation, or transgender identity

 

The level of harm and distress caused to the victim will also be taken into account. However, there are also mitigating factors that can be put forward to support your defence.

As Sedley LJ observed:

Free speech includes not only the inoffensive but the irritating, the contentious, the eccentric, the heretical, the unwelcome and the provocative provided it does not tend to provoke violence. Freedom only to speak inoffensively is not worth having.

(Redmond-Bate v DPP [2000] HRLR 249)

 

How can our Malicious Communications Law Solicitors help?

 

Our expert solicitors have decades of experience. We can best advise you if you contact us at the earliest possible stage, preferably before you are charged. Any admission at the police station should be carefully considered. We are flexible and provide tailor made expert legal advice. Our primary concern is to act in your best interests.

 

How do I pay for my legal fees?

 

Please contact us to discuss your circumstances and possible funding options.

If you do not have the finances to pay for legal advice, you may be eligible for Legal Aid funding.

Imran Khan and Partners are accredited by the Legal Aid Agency. We can apply for legal aid on your behalf and guide you through the application process.

Who do I need to contact?

 

Contact leading Criminal Defence Solicitors Pratik Patel at pratik@ikpsolicitors.com or Ben Bansal at benb@ikpsolicitors.com, call 020 7404 3004 or email us at info@ikpsolicitors.com to talk to us about how we can help you.

 

We will swiftly respond to any query within 24h.

If you contact us on behalf of someone who is already in prison, please simply provide the name of the person, the prison number and any available detail. We will organise a legal visit with that person, whether face to face or by Video link.