Senate Bill No. 222
(By Senators Beach, Laird and Klempa)
[Introduced January 17, 2012; referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §61-5-17a, relating to making it a criminal offense for any person to intentionally interfere with or prevent an individual from calling for assistance of emergency service personnel, including penalties.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §61-5-17a, to read as follows:
ARTICLE 5. CRIMES AGAINST PUBLIC JUSTICE.
§61-5-17a. Interference with a call for emergency services.
In addition to any other offense set forth in this code, the Legislature hereby declares a separate and distinct offense under this section, as follows:
(a) No person, with the intent purposefully to deprive any other person of emergency services, may interfere with or prevent another person from:
(1) Using or accessing a 911 emergency telephone system; or
(2) Making a report to a law-enforcement officer or agency or fire department; or
(3) Requesting emergency medical assistance.
(b) For the purposes of this section, the term “interfere with or prevent” includes, but is not limited to, the seizure, concealment, obstructing access to, or disabling or disconnection of a telephone, telephone line or equipment, or other communication device.
(c) Any person who is convicted of an offense under this section shall be confined in jail for not more than six months, or fined not less than $100 nor more than $500, or both confined and fined.
NOTE: The purpose of this proposed new section is to make it a crime to interfere with or prevent a person from reporting a crime or seeking emergency assistance arising from the commission of a crime.
§61-5-17a is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.