Is it a Crime to Make a False Report of an Emergency?
Yes, it is a crime in California to knowingly report a false emergency under Penal Code 148.3. Namely, it is a crime to make a report or cause a report to be made to any city, county, city, or state department, district, agency, division, commission, or board, that an emergency exists when in reality an emergency does not exist.
How is an Emergency Defined for Purposes of Making a False Report of an Emergency?
For purposes of making a false report of an emergency, an emergency includes any condition that does, or could result in, the response of any public official to any condition that can jeopardize public safety, evacuation of an area, or activates AMBER alert.
What Are the Penalties of Making a False Report of an Emergency?
Penalties for making a false report of an emergency may include being charged with a misdemeanor with up to one year in county jail and a maximum fine of $1,000.
What Are Some Examples that Would Likely Result in Making a False Report of an Emergency?
Here are some examples that would likely result in making a false report of an emergency:
- A man calls the police to tell them he is holding a hostage captive and threatens that he will not let them go unless he is paid money when in reality he is not holding anyone hostage but only threatened to get money;
- Calling 911 and claiming that the building they are in is on fire and therefore needs help immediately, but in reality, when the fire department and paramedics get there, they see the individual sitting on the sidewalk and the building that is not on fire.
Are There Instances where Making a False Report of an Emergency can be Charged as a Felony?
Yes, there are instances where making a false report of an emergency can be charged as a felony should the false alarm result in someone suffering great bodily injury or death.
How is Great Bodily Injury Determined?
Great bodily injury is determined by how severe the injury to the person is. Thus, the following factors are typically considered:
- The severity of the injury;
- Whether the injury required immediate medical care; and/or
- The level of physical pain the individual is in.
Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney
Have you or someone you know has been charged with making a false report of an emergency? If so, experienced attorneys at KAASS Law are here to help protect your rights. Get in touch with us to go over the details of your case by contacting (310) 943-1171