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Fort Myers Criminal Defense Lawyer / Blog / Criminal Defense / Can You Go to Jail for Calling 911 in Fort Myers?

Can You Go to Jail for Calling 911 in Fort Myers?


All Fort Myers residents understand that if they ever face emergencies, they can call 911 for help. Unfortunately, you can face penalties for “misusing” the emergency line – even if you genuinely needed help from first responders. The penalties can be surprisingly severe – especially if you commit this offense repeatedly over the course of your life. Past incidents show that the authorities have little patience for this criminal offense in Fort Myers.

Man Faces Consequences for Calling 911 Under Unclear Circumstances in Fort Myers 

In May of 2024, it was reported that a man in Fort Myers was facing criminal consequences for placing a 911 call and subsequently resisting arrest. It seems that this individual became embroiled in some kind of altercation at a fast-food restaurant before dialing 911. According to the report, multiple people in the establishment called 911 after the defendant failed to pay.

Based on the 911 call, it seems as though the defendant was genuinely concerned about his safety. He specifically mentioned a deputy “following him,” and he accused the 911 operator of “plotting against him.” At the end of the conversation, the defendant claimed that he had dialed 911 by mistake – and that he meant to call 411 to order a taxi. After hanging up, he called 911 a second time and complained about the police system in general. It was this second call that apparently crossed the line, leading to penalties for “misusing the emergency line.” Police were dispatched to his location, and he resisted arrest before being taken into custody – leading to additional charges.

Another recent incident in Orlando saw a woman call 911 to complain about her McDonald’s order being incorrect. This is an obvious example of misusing the emergency line, and it also led to criminal charges.

What Is the Penalty for Misusing 911? 

The penalties for misusing 911 may be surprisingly harsh for many defendants, and it is possible to face up to a year in jail. If you commit more than three of these offenses, further misuse of the emergency line can lead to felony charges.

With that being said, defendants can push back against unfair and excessive penalties with help from an experienced defense lawyer. A lawyer can help you argue that the 911 call was necessary, and that you genuinely felt concerned for your safety. Fear is a very subjective emotion, and people may become scared for their safety in various situations. It may be very difficult for prosecutors to argue that the call was unnecessary if you felt genuinely scared. Even if you were scared about a threat that did not actually exist, you shouldn’t face excessive penalties for mistakenly identifying a potential danger.

Find an Experienced Defense Attorney in Fort Myers 

If you have been accused of misusing the emergency line in Fort Myers, it might be time to get in touch with a criminal defense lawyer. Choose the Fort Myers criminal defense lawyers at Foley & Wilson Law Firm to get started with an action plan right away. You shouldn’t face excessive penalties if you genuinely felt concerned about your safety, and you were left with no other choice but to call 911. Reach out today to discuss your legal options in more detail.




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