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Accused of stopping an emergency call? There's help for you

Interfering with emergency services is a very serious crime that can be penalized in Minnesota. Interrupting a 911 call is punishable by law in Minnesota. What that means is that no person can stop another from calling 911 in any circumstances or force the person to hang up the phone.

Why is it important for this to be a law?

In cases where a victim is calling for help, the person who stops that individual from placing the call faces heavy penalties. In Minnesota, it's a crime to stop 911 calls by domestic violence victims or anyone in an emergency situation. Doing so is a misdemeanor. In some other states, it is a felony. For example, in North Dakota and Ohio, it's a felony if a person intentionally interrupts a 911 call.

It's clear that in a violent situation, a person may try to make a call out and be stopped. This law helps penalize a person who stopped another from making a 911 call, even though it may not help in the immediate situation itself. With the misdemeanor on record, the individual breaking the law faces administrative and social penalties that vary based on the case, your job and other factors.

What can you do if you're accused of this and other criminal acts?

If you're accused of a felony such as exploiting children and stopping a person trying to make a 911 call, you could face the misdemeanor charge as well. Your attorney can help you work through the case to determine what might help or hurt your defense. Our website has more information on the steps to take if you're facing felony or misdemeanor charges.

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