False Public Alarm

N.J.S.A. 2C:33-3

False Public Alarm

What may have intended to be a practical joke can quickly turn into a serious criminal charge of causing false public alarm.

Under this statute, a person will be guilty of creating a false public alarm if that person makes a false report that a disastrous event will occur such as a bombing, crime, fire, explosion or other public emergency knowing that the report is without basis or is false and will result in the evacuation of a building, facility, place of transport or other public place.

This is a third degree offense with the potential for 3-5 years in New Jersey State Prison.

However, if the person created a false public alarm with more than just mere words but also by some physical action such as placing a fake bomb in a public place then the offense escalates to a second degree crime. The offense will also escalate to a second degree charge if another person was injured as a result of the false public alarm or if the false public alarm was created during a county, state or national emergency. If convicted of causing false public alarm in the second degree, there is a possibility of 5-10 years in prison.

Finally, if a person creates a false public alarm and as a result of the false public alarm, a death occurs, that person will be guilty of a crime of the first degree.

If you have been charged with the offense of creating a false public alarm contact the attorneys at LS&P Lawyers. We have over 30 years of experience in representing clients charged with criminal offenses. Creating a false public alarm is a serious offense with the severest of penalties.

Even a fake or prank phone call to 9-1-1 can be considered a fourth degree crime which if convicted is punishable by up to 18 months in prison.

Don’t let a stupid mistake or momentary lapse in judgment ruin your life. Contact us immediately and we will arrange an initial free consultation to discuss your case. At LS&P Lawyers we have a straight-forward personable approach. Our team puts in the work and dedication of that of a big firm for an affordable price.

2C:33-3. False Public Alarms. a. Except as provided in subsection b. or c. of this section, a person is guilty of a crime of the third degree if he initiates or circulates a report or warning of an impending fire, explosion, bombing, crime, catastrophe or emergency knowing that the report or warning is false or baseless and that it is likely to cause evacuation of a building, place of assembly, or facility of public transport, or to cause public inconvenience or alarm. A person is guilty of a crime of the third degree if he knowingly causes such false alarm to be transmitted to or within any organization, official or volunteer, for dealing with emergencies involving danger to life or property.

b. A person is guilty of a crime of the second degree if in addition to the report or warning initiated, circulated or transmitted under subsection a. of this section, he places or causes to be placed any false or facsimile bomb in a building, place of assembly, or facility of public transport or in a place likely to cause public inconvenience or alarm. A violation of this subsection is a crime of the first degree if it occurs during a declared period of national, State or county emergency.

c. A person is guilty of a crime of the second degree if a violation of subsection a. of this section in fact results in serious bodily injury to another person or occurs during a declared period of national, State or county emergency. A person is guilty of a crime of the first degree if a violation of subsection a. of this section in fact results in death.

d. For the purposes of this section, "in fact" means that strict liability is imposed. It shall not be a defense that the death or serious bodily injury was not a foreseeable consequence of the person's acts or that the death or serious bodily injury was caused by the actions of another person or by circumstances beyond the control of the actor. The actor shall be strictly liable upon proof that the crime occurred during a declared period of national, State or county emergency. It shall not be a defense that the actor did not know that there was a declared period of emergency at the time the crime occurred.

e. A person is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree if the person knowingly places a call to a 9-1-1 emergency telephone system without purpose of reporting the need for 9-1-1 service.