A malicious communication is one which is sent with the intent to cause distress or anxiety to the person to whom it is sent and may be by way of a letter or any other form of communication, electronic or otherwise, containing material which is indecent or grossly offensive, threatening, or which is false or believed to be false.
The constant development of ‘social media’ in all of its various forms through electronic communications has enabled offensive material to be distributed easily and effectively and the Malicious Communication Act 1988 (the ‘Act’) is intended to combat offensive communications by making them a criminal offence; a conviction for which may lead to a prison sentence.
John Veale of Kangs Solicitors comments upon the Act and the possible consequences of a conviction.
If you have been arrested or are due to be interviewed under caution in relation to a complaint involving an alleged malicious communication or similar, the team at Kangs Solicitors is here to assist you.
Please feel free to call us for an initial no obligation confidential discussion:
The Law | Kangs Malicious Communications Defence Solicitors
Section 1 of the Act states:
‘Offence of sending letters etc. with intent to cause distress or anxiety.
(1) Any person who sends to another person—
(a) a letter, electronic communication or article of any description which conveys—
(i) a message which is indecent or grossly offensive;
(ii) a threat; or
(iii) information which is false and known or believed to be false by the sender; or
(b) any article or electronic communicationwhich is, in whole or part, of an indecent or grossly offensive nature,
is guilty of an offence if his purpose, or one of his purposes, in sending it is that it should cause distress or anxiety to the recipient or to any other person to whom he intends that it or its contents or nature should be communicated.’
Potential Defence | Kangs Social Media Offences Defence Solicitors
Section 2 of the Act provides that:
- a person is not guilty of an offence, if when communicating a threat, they show
- that the threat was used to reinforce a demand made by them on reasonable grounds, and
- that they believed, and had reasonable grounds for believing, that the use of the threat was a proper means of reinforcing the demand.
Sentence Following Conviction | Kangs Criminal Defence Solicitors
Section 4 of the Act states that:
- a conviction on indictment, i.e. before a Crown Court, can result in a prison term not exceeding two years and/or a fine.
- a summary conviction, i.e. before a Magistrates’ Court, can result in a prison a term not exceeding twelve months and/or a fine.
How Can We Help? | Kangs National Criminal Defence Solicitors
If you are arrested or subject to a criminal investigation, you should seek expert legal assistance and advice immediately.
The team at Kangs Solicitors has a wealth of experience assisting clients facing investigation and prosecution in respect of alleged criminal activity of every conceivable description.
If we can be of assistance, please do not hesitate to contact our team through any of the following: