Interference with Public Duties
Interference with Public Duties is an offense that catches most people off guard.Whenever we find ourselves face to face with law enforcement tensions often rise. Under Texas law, arguing with the officers does not constitute an actionable offense. Speech is a defense to the offense charge even if the result is ‘stalling.’ However, one does not need to intend to commit this offense, but rather their negligence is alone.
According to the Texas Statute:
(A) A person commits an offense if the person with criminal negligence interrupts, disrupts, impedes, or otherwise interferes with:
- A peace officer while the peace officer is performing a duty or exercising authority imposed or granted by law;
- 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;
- A fire fighter, while the fire fighter is fighting a fire or investigating the cause of a fire;
- 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;
- 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;
- 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
- 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
(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.
A person who is arrested and ultimately convicted of Interference with Public Duties in Texas could face up to 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine.
It is pivotal to avoid a conviction on this offense as much as possible. A conviction for Interference with Public Duties in Texas would have consequences and would affect your ability to obtain employment/mortgage or even rent an apartment. The most beneficial and important thing you can do is contact an experienced attorney that has a proven track record for success in these kinds of cases.