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DEFENDING THE INTERFERENCE WITH AN EMERGENCY TELPHONE CALL CASE

This particular offense is frequently charged, and often misunderstood. The offense may be found at Texas Penal Code, Section 42. 062.   Essentially, to establish this offense, the State must prove

1. knowing

2. prevention or interference with another’s ability to place

3.  an emergency telephone call.

 

The law defines emergency as “a condition or circumstance in which any individual is or is reasonably believed by the individual making a telephone call to be in fear of imminent assault or in which property is or is reasonably believed by the individual making the telephone call to be in imminent danger of damage or destruction.”

This law does not criminalize irresponsible or rude behavior.  This alleged offense often accompanies an assault charge, but not always.  In defending this type of case, it is important to determine if the state can prove that a) the accused person was knowingly trying to prevent an emergency call, and b) whether there was an emergency as that term is defined by law.

As a lawyer, I have tried several of this type of case and have frequently found that the proof of an actual emergency is often missing.  The Interfering with an Emergency call seems to be an offense, in my experience anyway, where the proof of one or more elements of this particular offense is often missing.