Code of the District of Columbia

§ 22–1931. Obstructing, preventing, or interfering with reports to or requests for assistance from law enforcement agencies, medical providers, or child welfare agencies.

(a) It shall be unlawful for a person to knowingly disconnect, damage, disable, temporarily or permanently remove, or use physical force or intimidation to block access to any telephone, radio, computer, or other electronic communication device with a purpose to obstruct, prevent, or interfere with:

(1) The report of any criminal offense to any law enforcement agency;

(2) The report of any bodily injury or property damage to any law enforcement agency;

(3) A request for ambulance or emergency medical assistance to any governmental agency, or any hospital, doctor, or other medical service provider, or

(4) The report of any act of child abuse or neglect to a law enforcement or child welfare agency.

(b) A person who violates subsection (a) of this section shall be fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01 or imprisoned not more than 180 days, or both.


(Apr. 24, 2007, D.C. Law 16-306, § 107, 53 DCR 8610; June 11, 2013, D.C. Law 19-317, § 206(f), 60 DCR 2064.)

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-317 substituted “not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01” for “not more than $1,000” in (b).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) enactments, see § 107 of Omnibus Public Safety Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-445, July 19, 2006, 53 DCR 6443).

For temporary (90 day) enactments, see § 107 of Omnibus Public Safety Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-490, October 18, 2006, 53 DCR 8686).

For temporary (90 day) enactments, see § 107 of Omnibus Public Safety Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-10, January 16, 2007, 54 DCR 1479).

For temporary (90 day) enactments, see § 107 of Omnibus Public Safety Second Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-25, April 19, 2007, 54 DCR 4036).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 206(f) of the Criminal Fine Proportionality Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-45, April 1, 2013, 60 DCR 5400, 20 DCSTAT 1300).

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 19-317: Section 401 of D.C. Law 19-317 provided that the act shall apply only to offenses committed on or after June 11, 2013.