Interfering With Emergency Call

Interference Iphone

Usually this is an accusation is associated with other charges such as a Texas domestic violence charge known as assault family violence. It is known as Interference with a 911 call or Emergency Call for Assistance. Sec. 42.062. INTERFERENCE WITH EMERGENCY REQUEST FOR ASSISTANCE

What Happens When You Interfere With an Emergency Call?

Our experience is is that in the heat of the moment and tempers are high a real or not so real need to call 911 arises. The non-calling person knows that this will cause the police to be called to the house or current location. Sometimes a person grabs the phone away from the caller and hides it. Sometimes the phone is damaged by being thrown on the floor or against the wall. Like most statutes, emergency is defined as “a condition or circumstance in which any individual is or is reasonably believed by the individual making a call or requesting assistance to be in fear of imminent assault or in which property is or is reasonably believed by the individual making the call or requesting assistance to be in imminent danger of damage or destruction.” It’s considered an offense if the “individual recklessly renders unusable an electronic communications device.” So it does not necessarily have to be a phone. 

Is Interfering With a 911 Call a Felony in Texas?

The short answer is no. It will be a Class A Misdemeanor -Texas unless a person has been previously convicted of interfering with an emergency call.

Sec. 12.21. CLASS A MISDEMEANOR. An individual adjudged guilty of a Class A misdemeanor shall be punished by:(1) a fine not to exceed $4,000;(2) confinement in jail for a term not to exceed one year; or (3) both such fine and confinement.

Has There Been a Prior Conviction for Interfering with Emergency Call?

If so,  the next accusation becomes a state jail felony charge.  

State Jail Felony

Interference With Emergency Request for Assistance Texas Now What?

The cases are not alway cut and dried. Seeking experienced legal counsel is the first and most important action to take. Call or contact for excellent legal advice. When issues settle down and the smoke clears, often there is a clear road to a resolution that will save a person’s future. 

How Do Stop Someone From Needlessly Calling 911?

The short answer is that you do not if you don’t want to go to jail. Beating the case later in court is a different story. For instance if the caller is hypothetically hallucinating on drugs and thinks you are attacking him or her and you are not, then it would not be a reasonable belief by the individual that they need emergency help. That really will not save a person from going to jail for the night in a lot of cases, unless the officers are experienced and patient in their investigation. They may even need to have dealt with this household or person in the past to know of the unreasonable beliefs. 

Does It Help That I’m Still With My Spouse or Significant Other After Interference with Emergency Communication?

Yes. The alleged victims stance on the matter is important going forward. The case will most likely be set in court for a while and the current relationship can help the case turn out in a more positive manner. The charge of interference with emergency telephone call is not the end of the world and can be work out for the accused. 

Author: Eric Torberson

Eric Torberson is a licensed attorney in Texas as well as licensed in the federal courts of the southern and western districts of Texas.