In Texas, you can be punished for the crime of interfering with an emergency call. Typically, this occurs during domestic violence situations, but it also happens during assaults or hit-and-runs. Once someone pulls out a phone to contact 911, any attempt to stop them is a crime. It’s not just police officers, either – it is a crime to interrupt any call made to a law enforcement agency, medical facility or other agency or entity the primary purpose of which is to provide for the safety of individuals.
Interfering with an emergency call is a Class A misdemeanor in Texas. This means that, if convicted, you face up to a year in county jail and/or a fine up to $4,000. You may also lose your right to own and possess a firearm. If this is not the first time you’ve been convicted of interfering with an emergency call, the crime could be enhanced to a state jail felony, which could come with penalties of 180 days to 2 years in jail and up to $10,000 in fines.
Effects of Conviction
A criminal conviction for interfering with an emergency call has effects that last long beyond a potential jail term. Prospective employers will be able to see the conviction on a background check, which does not bode well for your ability to move forward in your career. If there is a family law dispute, for example, custody of your kids, the courts are going to see that conviction and might use this as an excuse to take away your rights to your children. You can even struggle when applying for higher education.
Speaking to a qualified criminal defense attorney with experience in this field is your best chance of having your charges reduced or dismissed.