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What exactly is interference with a 911 call

Cleburne, TX |

im being charged with interference with a 911 call but all i did was take the phone from my cousin she had not dialed any number or pressed any buttons on the phone would that still be considered interference with a 911 call even tho she had not dialed any thing on the phone?

Attorney Answers 2

Posted

Nothing on the phone has to be dialed. If you prevent someone from dialing, that would still count. Here is the law from the Texas Penal Code:

§ 42.062. INTERFERENCE WITH EMERGENCY TELEPHONE
CALL. (a) An individual commits an offense if the individual
knowingly prevents or interferes with another individual's ability
to place an emergency telephone call or to request assistance in an
emergency from a law enforcement agency, medical facility, or other
agency or entity the primary purpose of which is to provide for the
safety of individuals.
(b) An individual commits an offense if the individual
recklessly renders unusable a telephone that would otherwise be
used by another individual to place an emergency telephone call or
to request assistance in an emergency from a law enforcement
agency, medical facility, or other agency or entity the primary
purpose of which is to provide for the safety of individuals.
(c) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor,
except that the offense is a state jail felony if the actor has
previously been convicted under this section.
(d) In this section, "emergency" means a condition or
circumstance in which any individual is or is reasonably believed
by the individual making a telephone call to be in fear of imminent
assault or in which property is or is reasonably believed by the
individual making the telephone call to be in imminent danger of
damage or destruction.

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Posted

As Robert pointed out, no numbers need to be dialed for someone to be guilty of Interfering with an Emergency Call. However, the State does have to prove that you "knowingly interfered with another individual's ability to place an emergency phone call". That is, they have to show that you knew your cousin was trying to make a 911 call and prevented her from doing so. If she hadn't communicated that idea to you or her intention wasn't obvious, then you may have a defense. This offense is a Class A misdemeanor and carries up to 1 year in the county jail, a probation of up to 2 years, and a fine of up to $4,000.

You should talk to a local criminal defense attorney ASAP.

Disclaimer: This answer is provided as a public service and as a general response to a general question, it is not meant, and should not be relied upon as specific legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship.

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