Interfering With An Emergency Call May Mean Jail Time
When there is any sort of emergency, time becomes a valuable commodity. Seconds matter and can mean the difference between life and death. Interfering with an emergency call is treated seriously in Oklahoma.
To protect victims, Oklahoma has made it a crime to intentionally interfere, interrupt or prevent a person from attempting to, or who is in the process of, making or placing an emergency telephone call. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1211.1
The crime is punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $3,000, or both. This jail time is usually served in the county jail as opposed to prison. But all jail time is scary.
What Does Interfering With an Emergency Call Mean?
Emergency 911 calls happen all the time. An intruder breaks into the house, a car accident with injuries, an elder falls and can’t get up, a domestic argument becomes physical, an overdose, a rape, a robbery. All of these situations are typical scenarios in which a party or bystander calls for emergency services.
All too often, when there is a victim calling for help, there is another party who would like to delay the arrival of help: The home invader, the rapist, the robber, the assailant, the person trying to get away.
Whatever the situation, the law is clear — Once someone starts to make a call for emergency services, it is a crime to stop that process. This includes hanging up, breaking the phone, cutting phone wires, or any other action that may interfere with the call.
A witness to a robbery in a dark alley takes out a cell phone and calls 911. The assailant sees this and charges after the witness, corners them and breaks the phone in the middle of the call. A heroin user shoots up and starts to realize that something is wrong. He picks up the phone and starts to call 911. Another user in the room doesn’t want to get caught in this situation and hangs up the phone. An irate husband stops a wife from calling for help in the middle of a fight by tearing the phone out of the wall.
All of these people have just broken this law — sometimes without thinking. Sometimes out of fear. Sometimes with malice.
All too often this crime is committed in the heat of the moment. You might think the matter is really under control, but if you interfere with the caller, you could take an already difficult situation and make it worse.
An experienced Wagoner criminal defense attorney can help sort out your interfering with an emergency call situation and can help you protect your rights and freedom. Make that call today.
Free Consultation: Wagoner Criminal Defense Attorney
When you or someone you care about is facing charges for this or any other crime in the Wagoner, Oklahoma, area or any of the surrounding counties, the criminal defense lawyers at Wirth Law Office – Wagoner are here to provide you a free consultation to discuss what our team could do to handle your criminal matter.
Contact us at (918) 485-0335 to schedule your confidential and no-cost consultation. You also may contact us by email using the form at the top of this page. Either way, you reach out to our team, we’ll get back to you promptly to answer your legal questions.