Interfering With a 911 Call
The 911 emergency hotline is meant to be utilized for those in traumatic situations in need of immediate help. This can be anything from you waking up and realizing that your home is on fire to witnessing a shooting. Lawmakers take this hotline especially serious as they’ve implemented legislation that criminalizes those who misuse the 911 hotline. It is also equally illegal to interfere with one’s freedom to place a 911 call and being accused of doing so can result in you facing either misdemeanor or felony charges.
If you or someone you know is accused of interfering with a 911 call, don’t hesitate to seek legal representation that can help clear your name. The Orlando criminal defense lawyers at The Umansky Law Firm have handled many cases similar to yours and can help explain the extent of your legal options. While interfering with a 911 call may not be as severe as many violent crimes, they still can have a significant effect on your freedom if convicted. Speak with us today to discover how we can help combat your criminal charges.
Florida Laws Against Interfering With a 911 Call
Florida Statute § 914.22(1)(e) provides the following to define interfering with a 911 call:
“A person who knowingly uses intimidation or physical force, or threatens another person, or attempts to do so, or engages in misleading conduct toward another person, or offers pecuniary benefit or gain to another person, with intent to cause or induce any person to:
Hinder, delay, or prevent the communication to a law enforcement officer or judge of information relating to the commission or possible commission of an offense or a violation of a condition of probation, parole, or release pending a judicial proceeding…”
In lamens terms, the prosecution must prove that you intentionally prevented or restricted one’s ability to place a 911 call. Oftentimes, the State will also assert that you interfered with the placing of a 911 call during the commission of a crime (domestic violence battery, robbery, etc.).
Florida Penalties for Interfering With a 911 Call
To get a conviction for interfering with a 911 call in Florida, the State is obligated “to present evidence that the victim or witness was attempting to contact law enforcement during the time of the underlying criminal incident.” In addition, the State must also show beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused individual partook in the following:
- You knowingly took action to prevent, hinder, or delay a witness from contacting law enforcement to share information;
- That related to the commission or possible commission of a crime.
The penalties in Florida for interfering with a 911 call vary depending on the severity of the crime the witness was calling to report. For example, if the witness was calling to report a robbery which is a second-degree felony in Florida, the individual who interfered with the call would face up to 15 years in prison for the offense.
Some of the most common ways individuals interfere with one’s freedom to contact law enforcement include:
- Intimidation or physical force
- Misleading conduct
- Offering a benefit or gain (for not calling the police)
Orlando Criminal Defense Lawyers Protecting Your Rights
Our team of Orlando criminal defense lawyers at The Umansky Law Firm are here to see to it that you aren’t unjustly prosecuted for this crime. People are often falsely accused of interfering with a 911 call and, given the burden of proof placed on the State, they will stop at nothing to get a conviction. Allow us to serve as your legal counsel during this tough time.
With over 100 years of combined experience and a team consisting of former state and local prosecutors, we’re confident that we can guide you to a favorable resolution to your legal troubles. Contact us today at 407-228-3838 for a free case evaluation.