A new Louisiana law that will take effect Aug. 1 which creates the crime of interfering with emergency communication.
The law, Louisiana Revised Statute 14:338, provides that the crime is committed when a person disconnects, damages, disables, removes, or uses physical force or intimidation to block access to any telephone or telecommunications device with the specific intent to interfere or prevent an individual from doing any of the following:
- Using a 911 emergency telephone number.
- Obtaining medical assistance.
- Making a report to any law enforcement officer.
“Telecommunications device” shall mean any type of instrument, device, or machine that is capable of transmitting or receiving telephonic, electronic, radio, text, or data communications, including but not limited to a cellular telephone, a text-messaging device, a personal digital assistant, a computer, or any other similar wireless device that is designed to engage in a call or communicate text or data.
Persons who commit this new law crime shall be either fined not more than $500, imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.
“This new law received overwhelming legislative support and will provide another element of protection for victims of crime, to include domestic violence, sexual assault, or medical calls,” said Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington. “We want to help victims of crime and further punish those who harm others.”