What is an emergency call?
An emergency call is made by dialling 9-1-1. The call could go to the police, the fire department, or EMTs. All three can be reached from the same number. 9-1-1 is reserved for emergencies. Non-emergency calls to any of the above parties should be to a different number.
People call 9-1-1 for a variety of reasons. They may believe they or someone else is in danger. They could also report a crime, a fire, or a medical emergency. These calls are taken seriously by the dispatchers. They do not appreciate phony calls and may even locate the person who made the call and have a conversation with them on the seriousness of emergency calls.
Interfering with an Emergency Call is a Crime
In Oklahoma, it’s a crime to interfere with an emergency call. The statute is called Interruption, Disruption, or Interference With Emergency Telephone Call. “Any person who intentionally interrupts, disrupts, impedes or interferes with an emergency telephone call or intentionally prevents or hinders another person from placing an emergency telephone call shall be guilty of a misdemeanor” (Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1211.1).
There are a few different components of this law. It can be broken down as follows:
- A person
- disrupts, impedes, or interferes with
- an emergency telephone call
- or hinders another person from placing one
In order to convict someone of interfering with an emergency call, the prosecution must prove intentionality. The accused can build a defense on the claim that the interference wasn’t intentional. For example, you may have been charged with interference when you didn’t know you were interfering with such a phone call.
Disrupt, impede, and interfere are all ways of saying the same thing. If a person tries to prevent someone from completing an emergency call, they could be found guilty of interference. Preventing someone from making the call in the first place is also considered interference.
Interference can be physical, such as trying to get the phone away from them, or verbal, such as talking over them or telling them to end the call.
It’s best not to interfere with an emergency call. If other charges are levied against you as a result of the call, you’ll have an opportunity to contest them. If you’ve been charged with interfering with an emergency call, you should reach out to a Muskogee criminal lawyer for your best shot at your desired outcome.
If the person who interferes with an emergency call is the reason for the call, they can face far more serious charges for whatever they did to prompt the call.
For example, people sometimes call the police when they are in dire situations where they fear for their lives. If the call gets interrupted, the dispatcher may assume that the person the caller was afraid of is the one who interrupted it.
This can happen in cases of domestic abuse, child abuse, rape, kidnapping, arson, attempted murder, and other crimes. You may interfere with an emergency call in an attempt to stop the caller from telling the dispatcher something that incriminates you. However, your interference may actually be used to incriminate you in a crime much worse than interfering with an emergency call.
A Muskogee misdemeanor defense attorney can assist you if you’ve been charged with interference or another crime related to the emergency call.
Punishments for Interfering with an Emergency Call
It’s a misdemeanor to interfere with an emergency call. While misdemeanors are less severe than felonies, you could still face jail time and fines.
The punishment for interfering with an emergency call is up to one year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $3,000.
Your best chance at getting your charges reduced or dropped is with a Muskogee defense attorney.
Free Consultation with a Muskogee Criminal Lawyer
If you’ve been charged with interfering with an emergency call, a skilled Muskogee Attorney can help you explore your options and determine your best course of action. For a free consultation, call (918) 884-7774. You can also go to the home page and click “request a consultation.”