North Carolina Criminal Law Chapter 14-286.2: Interfering with Emergency Communications
Under North Carolina Criminal Law Chapter 14-286.2, the crime of interfering with emergency communications is defined as the intentional interference with an emergency communication, knowing that the communication is an emergency communication, and made by a person who is not making an emergency communication himself/herself OR interference with a communications instrument or other emergency equipment with the intent to prevent an emergency communication.
To prove a charge of interfering with an emergency communication, the State must be able to prove prima facie (first facts/essential elements) Beyond a Reasonable Doubt:
- That the Defendant interfered with an emergency communication
- That the Defendant acted intentionally and with knowledge that the communication was an emergency communication
- That at the time the Defendant was not making an emergency communication himself
“Intentional interference” is defined to include any “type of interference that makes it difficult or possible to make an emergency communication or that conveys a false impression that emergency assistance is unnecessary when it is needed.”
Under the North Carolina Criminal Law Chapter 14-286.2(b1)(2), examples of intentional interference include: (1) removing, hiding, or disconnecting a communications instrument or other emergency equipment; (2) disabling a theft-prevention alarm system; or (3) providing false information to cancel an earlier call or otherwise falsely indicating that emergency assistance is no longer needed when it is.
“Emergency communication” is defined to include “communications to law enforcement agencies or other emergency personnel, or other individuals, relating or intending to relate that an individual is or is reasonably believed to be, or reasonably believes himself or another person to be, in imminent danger of bodily injury, or that an individual reasonably believes that his property or the property of another is in imminent danger of substantial damage, injury, or theft.” G.S. 14-286(b1)(1).2. Examples
Girlfriend has been assaulted by Defendant boyfriend. Girlfriend runs to bedroom to call 911 and locks the door. Defendant kicks in door and rips phone cord out of the wall. Defendant can be charged with interference with emergency communications.
Defendant is using drugs with friends. One of the friends begins to convulse and seize which Defendant suspects is an overdose. One of the friends calls 911. Defendant, fearful that he will be charged with possession of a controlled substance, calls 911 and provides false information to cancel the call. Defendant can be charged with interference with emergency communications.
Defendant disables alarm system so that he can sneak in to a neighbor’s house to steal money. Defendant can be charged with interference with emergency communications.3. Related Offenses
- Domestic Violence Lawyer in Charlotte NC
- North Carolina Criminal Law Chapter 14-33(a): Simple Assault Involving Physical Contact
- North Carolina Criminal Law 14-33(C)(2): Assault on a Female by a Male Person
- North Carolina Criminal Law 14-34: Assault by Pointing a Gun
- Difference Between Assault and Battery
- Interfering with 911
- Pattern Jury Instruction: Interfering with Emergency Communications
The Defendant has a viable defense under North Carolina law if he or she can prove his or her acts were not intentional.5. Penalties
The crime of interfering with an emergency communication is a Class A1 misdemeanor punishable by a maximum period of incarceration of 150 days.6. Criminal Defense for Interfering with Emergency Communications
If you have been charged with misdemeanor interference with emergency communications, it is important to immediately seek legal representation. Interfering with 911 (emergency communications) is classified as a Class A1 Misdemeanor, a serious criminal charge in North Carolina.
Such criminal charges may be related to other incidents of domestic violence, including allegations of assault on a female, assault and battery, a felony assault by strangulation.
Prosecutors, judges, and defense attorneys take such matters seriously. You should too!
Bill Powers has been helping people with both felony and misdemeanor criminal charges since 1992 and is a Board-Certified Criminal Law Specialist by the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification / NBTA.
“Anytime someone is accused of serious criminal charges, we recommend you speak to a lawyer without delay. Our legal consultations for both misdemeanor and felony offenses, including DWI charges, is complementary – Bill Powers, Charlotte Criminal Lawyer
Our law firm and lawyers believe it’s imperative to begin your defense without delay.
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Bill Powers may also be reached by email at: Bill@CarolinaAttorneys.com