Wagoner, Oklahoma authorities want to protect people in emergency situations. However, they can’t if there’s interference with an emergency call.
Defining Interference with an Emergency Call in Wagoner
It is a crime in Wagoner to intentionally interrupt, impede, or interfere with anyone who is attempting to, or who is in the process of, placing an emergency telephone call. (Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1211.1)
This law is designed to prevent anyone from interfering in an emergency situation once a victim has started to reach out for help. Often this means preventing the interference or interruption of a 911 call for emergency services. The punishment for interference is severe — up to one year in prison and/or a fine of up to $3,000.
Unfortunately, in instances of domestic abuse, home invasions, burglaries, and the like, it is all too common for the perpetrator to prevent or try to prevent the victims of the crime from calling the police.
A husband, raging at his wife, rips the cell phone from her hand as she is calling 911. He hurls it against the wall and smashes it before he hits her. Besides charges of domestic abuse and assault and battery, the husband may now also face charges of interfering with an emergency call.
Or what about a home invasion in a sleepy Wagoner neighborhood? The perpetrators cut the phone lines to the house so the victims will not be able to call for help. In addition to burglary and an assortment of other possible charges, the perpetrators will also face charges for interference with an emergency call.
There are situations in which interference with an emergency call charges can be avoided or dropped. Sometimes, the facts are more ambiguous than they might first appear.
Suppose in the scene above, it is actually the wife who is intoxicated. She and her husband are in the middle of a heated argument. She begins a call to the police, but in a fit of anger throws her phone at her husband. The phone breaks in the process.
The 911 operator has locked onto the address, and the police are dispatched to the house. They arrive as the couple begins hitting each other.
While there may be an assault and battery in progress, the husband may have a viable defense to an interference with an emergency call charge if his fingerprints are not on the phone.
Free Consultation: Wagoner Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are accused of interfering with an emergency call in Oklahoma, talk to an experienced Wagoner criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Do not wait and do not speak to the police. Remember that everything that you say to them can and will be used against you.
For a free consultation, call the Wirth Law Office – Wagoner at 918-485-0335.
As always, you have the option to enter a legal question in the form at the top right of this page.