In light of world events, bomb threats are taken seriously by both federal and local law enforcement agencies, and warrant investigation. Frequently considerable resources are used in response to a reported bomb threat. There are stiff legal penalties for false bomb threats, which are costly and time consuming, to try and deter them. Under California Penal Code Section 148.1, anybody falsely reporting a bomb placed in a public or private place may be accused making a bomb threat.
Definition of Bomb Threats
Actions or messages used to create fear in a person or group, such as bomb threats, can be considered a terrorist threat. Under California Code Section 422 and CA Code Section 148.1, the person making a false bomb threat to a specific person or group must know the threat is false. The threats can be verbal or by mail, email, texting, or phone to peace officers, radio or television stations, public transportation employees, government officials, building occupants, news reporters, airline employees, and other individuals.
Bomb Threats are Criminal Offenses
Under California Penal Code Section 148.1(c), persons who maliciously report a false bomb threat can be punished by one year in a county or state prison. California Penal Code Section 148.1(d) stipulates the defendant has to intend to threaten the safety of or to scare others in order to be convicted of making a bomb threat.
Bomb Threats are Violations of Federal Law
Under federal law, anybody who intentionally and willfully makes a bomb threat or maliciously conveys false information about a bomb threat in order to kill, injure, or destroy property by using explosives face considerable penalties and stiffer sentences than on the state level. Anybody intentionally making false bomb threats that “may reasonably be believed” can be fined and/or imprisoned for up to five years. If any serious bodily injury results, the sentence can be increased to up to 20 years.
If you have been accused of making a bomb threat you need the expertise of a criminal defense attorney such as Sevens Legal, APC. Contact Sevens Legal, APC, today for a free consultation.
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