Section 13A-10-16

Interference with public safety communication.

(a) For the purposes of this section, "public safety communication" means any radio signal, electronic transmission, telephone communication, or broadcast, intended for law enforcement, fire service, 911 personnel, or emergency personnel acting in an official capacity under color of law, which is transmitted or received by any equipment or system capable of either receiving or transmitting telephone communication, radio signals or other electronic transmissions on a wavelength, frequency, or channel allocated by the Federal Communications Commission or otherwise for use by law enforcement, fire service, 911 personnel, or emergency personnel.

(b) Except as provided in subsection (c), a person commits the offense of interference with public safety communication if the person does any of the following:

(1) Knowingly and intentionally displaces, damages, removes, injures, tampers with, destroys, or renders inoperable any transmitter, receiver, transceiver, tower or antenna, or any cable, telegraph or telephone line, or equipment, wire, fiber, pole, computer equipment, telecommunication switch, dispatching equipment, or conduit belonging to, required, used, or intended to be used for public safety communication, or material or property appurtenant thereto.

(2) Knowingly and intentionally displaces, damages, removes, injures, tampers with, destroys, or renders inoperable any audible or visual device or outdoor speaker or siren which is intended to indiscriminately provide or generate mass notification, alert, or warning of persons in the event of an emergency, or the material or property appurtenant thereto.

(3) Knowingly and intentionally interferes with the transmission or reception of any data, communication, message, or public safety communication by any law enforcement, fire service, 911 personnel, or emergency service agency in order to hinder the agency in the fulfillment of its duties.

(4) Knowingly and intentionally operates, or permits to be operated, any apparatus in his or her possession, or under his or her direct or indirect control, which is capable of transmitting radio signals or telephone communications that interfere with or cause disruption of a public safety communication.

(5) Knowingly and intentionally intercepts any transmission of a public safety communication which is encrypted for the purpose of preventing the unauthorized access to sensitive information.

(c) Subsection (b) does not apply to any of the following:

(1) A certified law enforcement officer acting under color of law in performance of his or her duties.

(2) Any officer, operator, employee, or agent acting in an official capacity on behalf of an agency, authority, or organization which maintains or oversees public safety communication activities or equipment.

(3) A person who has permission in writing from the head of a law enforcement, fire service, public safety, or emergency service agency or organization to possess and use any radio transceiver or apparatus capable of transmitting or receiving messages or signals within a wavelength, channel, or talkgroup assigned to the agency granting the permission.

(4) Any utility personnel acting within the scope of his or her duties.

(5) Any wireless telecommunications carrier employee acting within the scope of his or her duties or in good faith reliance on an intercept court order.

(d) It shall be the duty of any law enforcement officer to seize and hold for evidence any equipment possessed or used in violation of this section, and upon conviction of the person possessing or using the equipment, the court shall order such equipment destroyed or forfeited to the State of Alabama or to the authorized jurisdiction making the arrest and prosecution of the offense.

(e) Interference with public safety communication is a Class C felony.

(Act 2014-239, p. 766, §1.)