Interfering With 911 Emergency Calls
It is a gross misdemeanor offense for a person to be interfering with 911 emergency calls. Prosecutors treat this offense very seriously, as it is often the byproduct of an in-progress domestic assault. And, like domestic assaults, the consequences for anyone facing a 911 emergency calls charge are significant – both criminally speaking with possible significant jail time and as far as collateral consequences, such as a loss of employment.
Per Minn. Stat. 609.78, it is a gross misdemeanor for anyone to “intentionally interrupt, disrupt, impede, or interfere with an emergency call or intentionally prevent or hinder another from placing an emergency call.” Two things to keep in mind: (1) the act must be done intentionally, which can often only be proven through the surrounding circumstances and (2) it must be an emergency call.
As defined in the statute, an emergency call means:
- a 911 call;
- any call for emergency medical or ambulance service; or
- any call for assistance from a police or fire department or for other assistance needed in an emergency to avoid serious harm to person or property.
Also, at the time of the call, an emergency must exist.
In reading the above, you may be thinking that the statute is rather vague and, perhaps, even over-inclusive of innocent acts. There is no doubt that this statute is subjective, resulting in it being overcharged in some instances. This is why it is critical to get a seasoned 911 Emergency Call attorney to fight for you.
A 911 Emergency Calls charge is very fact-specific and, as a result, it requires a diligent and aggressive approach by the right legal team. A conviction can lead up to a year in jail and a $3,000 fine – and that doesn’t even include the collateral consequences that will result from a conviction on your record. The stakes are simply too high not to get the help you need when facing this serious charge.