Interfering With Call
Most people don’t know that it’s against the law to interfere with an emergency phone call. You could be charged with a crime under Texas Penal Code Section 42.062 if you knowingly interfere with or prevent someone from placing an emergency phone call or asking for assistance in an emergency. That incudes taking a phone away or hanging up the phone so they can’t complete their call.
It’s also illegal to damage or hide a phone or in some other way make it unusable so it can’t be used to place an emergency phone call. This is a Class A misdemeanor but it can be bumped up to a higher charge if the person committing the crime has done it before.
The penalties for Interfering With Call can be severe, with jail time up to one year and the possibility of a fine up to $4,000. Because it’s part of the family violence laws in Texas, you can also lose your right to own a firearm.
One of the biggest challenges of defending yourself from a charge like this is the fact that usually the two parties were alone at the time the activity occurred. It may be one person’s word against the other person’s word. My goal, as your Tarrant County defense lawyer, is to communicate an accurate picture of what occurred, including intent.
I’m Patrick Curran. I have more than 25 years of Texas criminal law experience. Before starting my own law practice, I was the supervisor for a D.A.’s office handling family violence cases for 2 years. I know how to fight any and domestic violence charges, when a plea bargain is in my client’s best interest, and when family violence diversion programs can minimize damage to my client’s life and reputation. Learn how I can help with your specific case. Call (817) 714-5529 for a free initial consultation.
Before a person can be convicted of this crime, the prosecutor has to prove that there was intent.
- Did you know that the other person was trying to make a call?
- Did you accidentally hang up the phone?
- Was the person really making an emergency call? Did you know that at the time or did you think she/he was calling a friend or family member? Did you think it was a hoax?
We will also look at the credibility of the victim.
- Does she/he have a history of making false claims?
- Does she/he have a mental health issue, paranoia or mental confusion?
- Are you involved in a divorce or child custody case that may be driving the other party to bring false charges against you to gain an upper hand in that court case?
And we’ll look at the circumstances surrounding the incident.
- Was the call actually about reporting an emergency or a crime?
- Did the person have reason to believe they might be harmed or was the person trying to make a false claim to police of abuse that did not occur?
Participation in a diversion program is one option for people facing an interference charge. Successful completion of a diversion program usually results in dismissal of charges.
Contact a Lawyer
Learn more about your defense and diversion options. Call my Fort Worth law office at (817) 714-5529 or contact me online to schedule a free initial consultation.