The Silent or Abusive Calls to 9-1-1 Service offense in the state of Texas makes it a crime, when you know there is no real emergency, to call 9-1-1 or allow someone else to use your device to call 9-1-1 and make abusive statements or stay silent. Learn more detailed information about the Silent or Abusive Calls to 9-1-1 Service offense below.
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Silent or Abusive Calls to 9-1-1 Service is classified in the Texas Penal Code under Title 9 “Offenses Against Public Order and Decency”, Chapter 42 “Disorderly Conduct and Related Offenses.”
The current Texas law defines the offense of Silent or Abusive Calls to 9-1-1 Service in Penal Code Section §42.061 as follows:
(b) A person commits an offense if the person makes a call to a 9-1-1 service, or requests 9-1-1 service using an electronic communications device, when there is not an emergency and knowingly or intentionally:
(1) remains silent; or
(2) makes abusive or harassing statements to a PSAP employee.
(c) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly permits an electronic communications device, including a telephone, under the person’s control to be used by another person in a manner described in Subsection (b).
PSAP means “public safety answering point.”
You can be charged with Silent or Abusive Calls to 9-1-1 Service if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of either 42.061(b) or 42.061(c), as described in the section above, have been met.
A conviction for Silent or Abusive Calls to 9-1-1 Service is punished as a Class B misdemeanor, with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $2,000 and jail time of up to 180 days. Learn about the differences between grades of felonies and misdemeanors