Interference with Public Duties, involves a person who interrupts, disrupts, impedes, or otherwise interferes with a peace officer performing a duty. Interference with Public Duties is commonly charged where an officer is arresting a person, and the spouse or friends of that person try to interfere. But it doesn't have to be an officer; firefighters and EMS workers, as well as a few other (rare) job titles are included as well.
Interference with Public Duties is a Class B Misdemeanor, so it's more than a ticket. One of the common questions Keates Law Firm gets about Interference with Public Duties is whether 'flashing headlights' to warn another driver of a speed trap is an offense. The answer is no, and it's written in the statute: subsection (c) reads, "It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (a)(1) that the conduct engaged in by the defendant was intended to warn a person operating a motor vehicle of the presence of a peace officer who was enforcing Subtitle C, Title 7, Transportation Code"
If you're looking for other offenses that are related to this one, you can see more information below, or click related legal offenses.
A person charged with Interference with Public Duties is arrested and taken to jail. In jail, the person is forced to await a Judge who will review the case and the person's history, and set a bond amount. In some cases, the Judge will grant a personal bond. If not, or if significant delay occurs, the Keates Law Firm can act quickly to assist with a personal bond to release that person. Be sure to read more about Bond, Personal Bonds, and Travis County Jail Releases.
Sometimes an officer will file arrest warrant , which will require a Walkthrough to clear the Arrest Warrant. Doing a Walkthrough quickly is important, because most of the time a person does not go into the jail during the surrender process. Call us for more details if you have an Active Travis County Arrest Warrant.
One great defense for Interference with Public Duties is also written in the statute:
It is a defense to prosecution under this section that the interruption, disruption, impediment, or interference alleged consisted of speech only.
Also, as mentioned above, some very minor offenses, such as light flashing to warn speeders, has a built in defense as well. However, more serious cases will require in depth research and discovery review to see exactly what might have been done to interrupt, disrupt, impede, or otherwise interfere with a peace officer performing a duty.
If you'd like to talk in detail about your situation, or if you have questions, contact us for a Free Case Consultation. Keep in mind, Keates Law Firm only practices in Austin and Travis County.
Hiring the right attorney from the beginning is important. Poor legal decisions will have a negative effect upon the case as it progresses. The Keates Law Firm has over 16+ Years Experience handling Interference with Public Duties cases. Our focus is to try and have the case dismissed against you. We don't even discuss pleas until all legal and negotiation options have been explored in detail.
Call Us to talk about your particular case and situation. It's a 100% Free Phone Consultation with Criminal Defense Attorney Keates. No Sales Pitches, No Hassles. We'll see if we are the right Law Firm for you, and give you a quote. Be sure to check out Keates Law Firm's Reviews and also our past cases and Results.
Your goal should be Dismissal for any Interference with Public Duties charge. While not every case can be dismissed, often times the goal becomes avoiding jail, or getting a reduced charge, or even getting a favorable probation with a possible dismissal at the end, called Deferred Adjudication. If dismissed, a person can later seek an Expunction of a Criminal Record, which is where a Judge Orders the offense records destroyed, including police reports, court records, and prosecutor files.
Likewise, if Deferred Adjudication is successfully completed, the person can have thier record sealed through Motions for NonDisclosure.
(a) A person commits an offense if the person with criminal negligence interrupts, disrupts, impedes, or otherwise interferes with: (1) a peace officer while the peace officer is performing a duty or exercising authority imposed or granted by law; (2) a person who is employed to provide emergency medical services including the transportation of ill or injured persons while the person is performing that duty; (3) a fire fighter, while the fire fighter is fighting a fire or investigating the cause of a fire; (4) an animal under the supervision of a peace officer, corrections officer, or jailer, if the person knows the animal is being used for law enforcement, corrections, prison or jail security, or investigative purposes; (5) the transmission of a communication over a citizen's band radio channel, the purpose of which communication is to inform or inquire about an emergency; (6) an officer with responsibility for animal control in a county or municipality, while the officer is performing a duty or exercising authority imposed or granted under Chapter 821 or 822, Health and Safety Code; or (7) a person who: (A) has responsibility for assessing, enacting, or enforcing public health, environmental, radiation, or safety measures for the state or a county or municipality; (B) is investigating a particular site as part of the person's responsibilities under Paragraph (A); (C) is acting in accordance with policies and procedures related to the safety and security of the site described by Paragraph (B); and (D) is performing a duty or exercising authority imposed or granted under the Agriculture Code, Health and Safety Code, Occupations Code, or Water Code.
Interference with Public Duties penalties will be a misdemeanor.
|Level of Offense||Punishment|
|Class B Misdemeanor||Not more than 180 days in a county jail, and/or no more than $2,000 fines|
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