Interference with an Emergency Call
The 911 emergency hotline has been designated as an “universal emergency number” for individuals in the United States requiring emergency assistance. Texas state officials understand how important these 911 services are to their citizens. That is why they’ve implemented laws prohibiting any interference with 911 services, whether that’s individually or with the hotline as a whole.
Preventing an individual from dialing 911 may not seem like a crime, but in the state of Texas it is. Under Texas Penal Code Section 42.062, interfering with an emergency phone call is an offense that may result in a Class A misdemeanor. Interfering with another person’s 911 call is a serious crime and if you’re convicted you could be sentenced to time behind bars.
Houston Interference with an Emergency Call Lawyer
Are you or someone you love facing charges for interfering with an emergency call? We advise you to obtain legal representation as soon as possible. Family violence charges can be complex to handle, therefore it’s important to have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side who can formulate a good defense on your behalf.
Horak Law represents clients in Houston, TX. We defend individuals throughout the greater Harris County area and surrounding counties including Fort Bend County, Liberty County, Brazoria County, and Galveston County. Call us at (713) 225-8000 to schedule a free consultation today.
- What is Interfering with an Emergency Call?
- Interference with an Emergency Call Penalties in Texas
- Additional Resources for Interference with an Emergency Call
What is Interfering with an Emergency Call?
Interfering with an emergency call is a serious charge in Texas. Nonetheless, not many people believe the offense has heavy repercussions. The crime is classified as a misdemeanor and does carry serious consequences. Texas Penal Code Section 42.062 lays out the elements that constitutes the offense:
- An individual knowingly interferes with another person’s ability to place an emergency call or to request assistance from the police, medical facility, or other entity that provides safety to individuals; or
- An individual recklessly damages an electronic communications device such as a telephone, that could have otherwise been used to make an emergency call.
Sec. 42.062 also defines the term “emergency.” Emergency, for the purposes of Texas law, is defined as a circumstance in which any individual making an emergency call fears an imminent assault. An emergency can also occur when a person requesting assistance or making a 911 call believes their property is in danger of damage or destruction.
Interference with an Emergency Call Penalties in Texas
Interfering with an emergency call in Texas is a Class A misdemeanor, which can result in a couple of penalties. A person convicted of this offense can expect to face up to a year in jail and a maximum $4,000 fine. If it is not their first conviction, then the judge may reclassify their charges from a misdemeanor to a state jail felony, which has more severe repercussions. Alleged offenders convicted of felony interference can face up to 2 years in jail and up to a $10,000 fine.
Unfortunately, the consequences don’t come to a halt there. A criminal conviction can follow a person around for a lifetime. Social and civil penalties of interfering with an emergency call can include inability to secure a financial loan, losing your professional license, difficulty gaining employment, and the inability to rent or buy a home.
Additional Resources for Interference with an Emergency Call
Texas Penal Code: Interfering with an Emergency Call – Click the link to view Texas Penal Code Section 42.062. You’ll also be able to learn more about what constitutes interference with an emergency call. The website also lists penalties, and definitions relating the offense such as “emergency.”
Commission on State Emergency Communications – The mission of the Commission on State Emergency Communications (CSEC) is to preserve and enhance public safety and health in Texas through reliable access to emergency communications services. Visit the website to learn more about the commission and view additional resources available such as the poison control, national suicide hotline, and national alliance on mental illness (NAMI).
911 Call Interference Houston Defense Lawyer | Texas Family Violence Attorney
Have you or someone you know been charged with interference with an emergency call? Get in touch with the Houston criminal defense attorneys at Horak Law. We are aware your future is in jeopardy and will fight to minimize the consequences of your arrest.
Horak Law represents clients Houston Texas and the surrounding areas, including Harris, Montgomery, Fort Bend, Brazoria, Galveston, Liberty, and Waller Counties. It is important to act quickly. The time to protect your rights and future is limited. Be proactive and take the first step with us. Call us at (713) 225-8000 to schedule a free, initial consultation.