Emergency responders are responsible for saving lives every single day in Texas. It is a crime to interfere with these individuals’ ability to respond to emergency calls and save lives. The formal name of this offense is Interference with Emergency Request for Assistance. These charges may result in jail time, fines, or both. If you have been charged with interference with an emergency call, you should seek legal counsel as soon as possible to ensure your legal interests are protected.
What is interference with emergency request for assistance?
This offense is described in Texas Penal Code 42.062. An individual may be convicted if that individual knowingly inhibits or interferes with someone else’s ability to make an emergency call or request assistance to an entity tasked with providing for the safety of others.
Additionally, someone may be convicted of this crime if that person recklessly makes an electronic communications device unusable that would be used to place an emergency call.
But what constitutes an emergency? According to the law, an emergency is a condition in which someone reasonable believes that they are in imminent fear of assault or if a property is in imminent danger of destruction or damage.
What are the penalties for interference with an emergency call?
Interference with an emergency call is a class A misdemeanor. Class A misdemeanors are the most serious type of misdemeanor an individual may commit. These misdemeanors carry up to 1 year in jail. Further, those convicted may be fined up to $4,000.
Defenses to interference with emergency call charges
For an individual to be convicted of a crime, each element of that crime must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Proving a crime beyond a reasonable doubt means that a jury would not be able to draw any other conclusion but that the accused did actually commit the crime.
Interference with an emergency call requires proving that the accused acted either intentionally or recklessly.
Acting intentionally means that the individual acted in a deliberate manner to make a certain result occur.
Acting recklessly means that the individual was aware of the risk that a certain event may occur, but disregarded that risk.
If the prosecution cannot prove that the accused acted either intentionally or recklessly, the charges should be reduced or dismissed.
Other defenses may also be available. Your criminal defense attorney will be able to study the facts of your case and determine which defenses are available. Your criminal defense attorney will then begin gathering evidence that supports your defense and will submit this evidence to the court.
In addition, your criminal defense attorney will make sure that your arrest was valid. For example, at the time of your arrest, you must have been informed of your Miranda rights. The arresting officer is required to tell you that you have the right to remain silent, the right to hire an attorney, and that anything you say can be held against you in court. If you were not informed of these rights, your arrest may not be valid. Your charges may be reduced or dismissed.
With the assistance of a criminal defense attorney, you are much more likely to have a favorable result in your case. Without an attorney, you risk facing serious penalties.
Do you need an attorney?
If you need a criminal defense attorney, contact the Hampton Eppes Law Group. Brian Eppes is a former Texas prosecutor who aggressively defends his clients’ legal rights inside and outside of the courtroom. To schedule your free consultation, call 817-877-5201 or visit www.hamptonlegalgroup.com today.