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Interfering with a 911 Call

Where you charged with interfering with a 911 call or of tampering with a witness under Section 914.22(1)(e)?

When the State’s evidence is insufficient to sustain a conviction for a violation of section, your attorney can often file a motion to dismiss the charges. The evidence is insufficient when the prosecutor cannot prove that a victim or witness was attempting to contact law enforcement during the commission of a crime or was otherwise tampered with.

Related charges often include domestic violence battery, domestic violence assault, battery by strangulation, battery on a pregnant female, or violation of a protective order.

Attorney for Witness Tampering in Fort Lauderdale, FL

If you were charged with tampering with a witness by interfering with a 911 call, a violation of section 914.22(1)(e), Florida Statutes (2014), then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

We represent clients after an arrest in Plantation, Hollywood, Deerfield Beach or Fort Lauderdale. We can help you mount an aggressive defense as you fight for a dismissal of the charges. Let us put our experience to work for you.

Call (754) 755-8554 today.

Section 914.22(1)(e) for Hindering Communication with a Law Enforcement

Section 914.22(1)(e) provides, in pertinent part, that a person commits the crime of tampering with a witness, victim, or informant when that person:

(1) … 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:

(e) 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 ….

In other words, the prosecutor with the State Attorney’s Office must prove that through some knowing act, threat, or attempted act, “the accused specifically intended to hinder, delay, or prevent the communication of information regarding a crime to a law enforcement officer.” Gill v. State, 622 So.2d 92, 93 (Fla. 2d DCA 1993).

In many of these cases, the prosecutor will also allege that the witness was attempting to contact law enforcement during the commission or possible commission of the criminal offense.

To support a conviction for witness tampering under Section 922.14(1)(e), the State was required “to present evidence that the victim or witness was attempting to contact law enforcement during the time of the underlying criminal incident.”

Some courts have held that Section 914.22(1)(e) does not require the State to show that a witness, victim, or informant was attempting to contact law enforcement during the time of the incident because such a requirement would add another element to a crime that is otherwise clearly defined. See § 914.22(1)(e); Fla. Std. Jury Instr. (Crim) 21.10 (listing the three elements that the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt to convict a person of witness tampering).

Elements of Witness Tampering by Hindering a 911 Call

The courts are in agreement that, at a minimum, the statute requires the State to prove that the accused did the following:

  • knowingly took some action with the intent to hinder, delay, or prevent the witness from communicating information to law enforcement;
  • relating to, although not necessarily during, the commission or possible commission of an offense.

Additional Resources

Florida Laws Prohibiting Witness Tampering – Visit the website of the Florida Senate to learn more about the elements of Florida’s statute prohibiting tampering with a witness or victim charged under Florida Statute Section 914.22. Find information about defenses and the penalties after a conviction.

Attorney for Interfering with a 911 Call in Broward County, FL

Call us if you are accused of interrupting with a witness or the victim who was attempting to contact law enforcement during the time of the incident.

Many of these cases also involve accusation that the person accused of the crime knowingly used physical force, intimidation or a threat with the intent to hinder or prevent a communication by either the victim or a witness to the violence with law enforcement. 

Tampering with a witness can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the allegations. When the underlying convictions are misdemeanor offenses, witness tampering is a third-degree felony as explained in § 914.22(2)(a).

This article was last updated on Friday, November 11, 2017.

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