The interruption, disruption, or interference with an emergency telephone call that’s being made by someone else in Oklahoma is a crime, a misdemeanor, and carries up to a year in the county jail and/or a $3,000 fine. This statute is for any person who intentionally interrupts, disrupts, impedes, or interferes with an emergency telephone call or intentionally prevents or hinders another person from placing an emergency telephone call.
This would be the situation where I have a client that comes in and is telling me about an argument or a fight that he got in with one of these family members or somebody they are in an intimate relationship with. In the process, the allegation is made is that the person he was with, attempted to, or was using the phone and that my client either interrupted that phone call, disrupted it, prevented it from happening, or maybe took the phone away. What we see a lot is where the accuser is dialing 911, telling my client they’re calling the police, and my client is attempting to engage in a conversation, and it is quickly devolving into something that is an uncontrollable argument. In his or her desire, in my client’s desire to continue the communication in order to resolve the conflict, the client then reaches out, or takes away, or hides the phone the person was using.
When my client takes away a phone, it could be for a couple of reasons: One, the client is trying to stop the accuser’s conduct from getting out of control and trying to stop the police from getting called. My clients typically know that if the police show up, they are the ones getting in trouble. Two, it’s because they haven’t done anything wrong, and they don’t feel that the police need to be called. The client wants to continue on with the conversation and to resolve the issue. 3)The accuser flat out says that they’re going to lie to the police and tell them that my client did something that they did not in fact do. You want cooler heads and minds to prevail. You know that tomorrow she won’t want this to have happened. But in this moment, man, she wants to put you in jail.
In your effort to try to deescalate the situation, and to try to buy yourself and her time where somebody can have a dose of sanity, and when you take that phone away, you’ve just committed a misdemeanor crime. Don’t do it. Allow them to make the telephone call.
Most of you who are reading this book are not reading it prospectively. Meaning, you’re not reading it anticipating you will get in a fight or an argument in the future, and you will need to successfully navigate these waters, so you don’t get in trouble. Typically, the client will read this after they’ve already been arrested and now, they are trying to better understand the charges they are facing.
What I typically see is two individuals in a fight or argument, the thing gets out of control. For whatever reason, one of the parties wants to call the police and the other party doesn’t want the police called. Sometimes it’s because my client has stepped over the line. Sometimes it’s because the accuser has stepped over the line. It’s very common to see my client trying to stop the individual from calling the police because they usually took it a step too far. What they’re trying to do with that energy and with that effort is to turn back time. They’re trying to stop the fight, and the problems, and the issues, trying to deescalate the situation. They, most of the time, realize that they’ve overstepped and they’re at a place that neither of them wants to be right now.
Regardless of what your intentions are now, maybe you had that epiphany, maybe you have a moment of clarity and you’re like, “If you just give me a moment, we can fix this,” and you attempt to stop that person from making that phone call, that’s criminal in Oklahoma. You can’t do that, and you’ve got to allow them to make that phone call.
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