Follow us
  >  blog   >  A.R.S. 13-2915: Preventing Use of a Telephone in an Emergency

A.R.S. 13-2915: Preventing Use of a Telephone in an Emergency

Did you know that you could be arrested simply for not allowing someone to use your phone in an emergency? 

Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) 13-2915 clearly states that this act is unlawful, and those convicted can face legal repercussions. But while it might sound straightforward, the application of A.R.S. 13-2915 isn’t always cut and dried. The law targets situations where denying phone access can cause harm, but not every case is simple, especially when linked to domestic violence scenarios.

What is A.R.S. 13-2915?

A.R.S. 13-2915, commonly referred to as “Preventing Use of a Telephone in an Emergency,” is a law designed to penalize individuals who knowingly refuse another person the ability to use a phone during an emergency. The intent behind the statute is to ensure that during emergencies, potential victims or witnesses can call for help, be it reaching out to law enforcement, medical services, or other emergency assistance. 

What Does It Mean to ‘Prevent Use of a Telephone in an Emergency’?

The term “emergency” in this context refers to any situation where immediate assistance is needed to prevent bodily harm, property damage, or situations that could escalate if timely intervention is unavailable. This could include situations involving domestic violence, accidents within the home, or immediate health crises.

Violating this statute typically involves actions like physically taking a phone away from someone trying to make an emergency call, disconnecting the landline before a call can be made, or even threatening someone in such a way that they are afraid to make a call. The law recognizes the gravity of communication during crises and seeks to ensure that no barrier is placed between a person in danger and the help they need.

This statute becomes particularly relevant in domestic violence cases, where one party might prevent another from calling for help. However, the specifics of the law require careful examination, as not every situation may directly constitute an offense under A.R.S. 13-2915.

Possible Defenses for Preventing the Use of a Telephone in an Emergency

When charged under A.R.S. 13-2915, several defenses might be applicable, depending on the circumstances surrounding the case:

  • Lack of Knowledge: The defendant may not have been aware that an emergency was taking place, and thus did not intentionally prevent phone use.
  • Misunderstanding: There might be a misunderstanding where the accused believed the situation was not an emergency.
  • Accidental Incidents: The phone might have been accidentally disabled or broken, preventing its use during an emergency.
  • No Intent: There was no deliberate intent to prevent the use of the telephone.

It’s crucial to consider the totality of circumstances, as the context in which the incident occurred can significantly affect the applicability of these defenses.

Possible Punishment for Preventing the Use of a Telephone in an Emergency

If someone is found guilty of intentionally preventing another person from using a telephone during an emergency or in a domestic violence situation, they may be convicted of a Class 2 misdemeanor. This type of misdemeanor can result in up to 120 days in jail and a fine of $1,500. Moreover, if the offense includes a “DV” or Domestic Violence tag, it can lead to further serious consequences. This designation can restrict the individual’s right to own firearms and affect other aspects of their life, such as security clearances, fingerprint clearance cards, and future job prospects.

Why You Need Legal Representation

Facing charges under A.R.S. 13-2915? 

It’s essential to have knowledgeable and experienced legal counsel. At Litwak Law Group, we understand the nuances of this particular statute and how to strategize and use the defenses available effectively. We believe everyone deserves a fair trial and the best possible outcome, especially when the laws are complex and the stakes are high.

If you or a loved one has been accused under A.R.S. 13-2915, contact Litwak Law Group today. Let our expertise guide you through this challenging time and towards a resolution that respects your rights and freedom. Call us now for a consultation and ensure your side of the story is heard.