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Can You Sue Someone For Breaking Your Phone?

broken cell phone

Can You Get in Trouble For Breaking Someone’s Phone?

Yes, intentional damage of another’s property, be it a smartphone or any handheld electronic device, is considered vandalism. This can be a serious crime depending on the circumstances so it is best practice not to mess with anyone’s property that is not yours. If your phone was broken and you want to take legal action then you can submit a police complaint or sue in civil court by filing a claim in small claims if you believe you have been wronged. There are a few assumptions here:

  • In the perspective of the law, the phone is yours (you bought it; you pay the bill, etc.).
  • The individual who damaged your phone didn’t have permission to use your phone.
  • It was a deliberate/intentional act, not an accident, that broke the phone

You can file a legal claim in small claims court, but keep in mind that court actions might actually cost more in fees than simply purchasing a new iPhone or Android. You may obtain the necessary form from your local county court, but will likely need to first reach out to law enforcement about pressing charges on the individual who broke your phone. There will be a small relevant fee for filing the court actions. If you are successful in demonstrating that the specified individual broke your phone, they will be required to pay compensation as well as legal expenses. 

You’ll have to spend extra money to get a bailiff engaged if they won’t pay after the court directs them to pay. Any financial penalty will fall on the parents of the individual who damaged your phone if he is under the age of 18.

So, anyone is able to sue the person who broke their phone. It is seen as vandalism in the eyes of the court. Therefore, if you break someone’s phone, you could get in trouble and might have to pay financial compensation for the phone and legal expenses.

Related Content: How Can I Track My Teen’s Phone?

broken cell phone

Charges For Stealing a Cell Phone

According to legal professionals, the theft of a mobile phone is no different from any other theft type. In the USA, the accurate description of numerous theft offenses and the punishment is largely a subject of state legislation. This means the penalty in North Carolina would be different than in say California. You can file your lawsuit in the small claims court, and the the claims court will review evidence, make a judgement, and offer a fitting punishment matching the crime given the circumstances.

Based on these circumstances, an attorney might prosecute a mobile phone thief with theft by taking, theft of lost or misplaced goods, or theft by receiving stolen goods. The crime is typically considered a misdemeanor. The majority of thefts of items worth less than $1,500 are considered misdemeanors. These misdemeanors are punished by up to a year in prison and a $1,000 fine.

The amount of money and human resources allocated to a mobile phone robbery investigation is a function of local objectives. A mobile phone robbery may go unnoticed in a town or area with a high prevalence of violent crime or property damage. Minor thefts may be rigorously pursued and penalized in other regions.

Some of these modern smartphones are worth more than $1,000, a felony in all 50 states. Companies may fully trace the phone with the owner’s agreement, and thieves are identified much faster than previously.

Note: There are mobile apps that utilize GPS tracking that can help you locate a stolen phone in real time. 

Can Someone Go To Jail For Breaking A Phone?

It is a misdemeanor to break another person’s smartphone in the State of California (Penal Code section 591.5). This implies you might risk jail time of up to 6 months in jail if you do it. You have no legal authority to break their personal property. It makes no difference how inexpensive a smartphone is. Breaking someone’s phone may land you in prison. They can contact a law firm to file a lawsuit against you.

Purposefully breaking someone else’s smartphone is a property violation. Nonetheless, this is a common occurrence. It is not unusual or rare for one spouse to purposely crush or damage the other’s phone during a personal quarrel. 

Taking and breaking someone else’s phone is against the law. So, yes, someone can go to jail for breaking a phone. You can get an attorney to represent you in the court of law if you accidentally broke someone else’s phone. They will help you get the charges dropped.

A penalty for destroying property is usually calculated based on the worth of the destroyed property. A misdemeanor or felony prosecution might be filed based on the worth of the damaged smartphone. Property destruction valued at $200 or more is also a felony.

If the offender has been apprehended, they must appear in court to be charged. The court determines the amount of bail. Bail is $5,000 or less for damage to a smartphone worth less than $500. If the individual accused of the felony is convicted, they might face jail time and a fine, depending on the context of the device’s destruction.

If you have been accused of breaking someone’s phone, hiring an attorney is the right course of action for you. Based on the cause of action, they can get you out of trouble with minimal penalty. With the right legal information, they can help you get fair compensation for your phone.

What To Do If Your Friend Breaks Your Phone?

If this individual is truly your buddy and not someone you’ve dubbed with that moniker, they should compensate you for the cost of a new one if they break yours. If this hasn’t happened, it’s extremely probable that they don’t feel he’s to blame for the phone destruction or (more likely) that you misunderstood the dynamics of your friendship.

Tell him your smartphone is damaged, that you know he’s the one who broke it, and that you’d prefer a substitute. If he declines or outright rejects, you must determine whether or not you want to continue the relationship. Alternatively, if they reject your final demand, you can decide to sue them in a court of law. You can get the rightful amount of money for your phone.

When you hand over your smartphone to someone else, they owe you a duty of care. As a result, he’ll treat the mobile as if it were his own. If a person drops the smartphone and damages it, though, he is judged to have violated this duty of care. Negligence is the term for such a blunder. In circumstances of carelessness, a person can sue another for losses incurred as a result of the phone breaking.

You can go through the lawyer directory and choose the right attorney to represent you if you wish to file a lawsuit. They can also offer rightful legal advice on your legal issue and help you with the proceedings. Offer them the right contact information for your friend who broke the phone, and the attorneys will handle everything. You can also get initial consultations for free and move forward with caution.