Shouse Law group » California Criminal Defense frequently Asked concerns » 911 Prank speak to » 911 Prank Call


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Knowingly reporting a fake emergency come 911 is a California crime.

It is a crime in California to make a false 911 call. Depending upon the truth of the case, a fake emergency report to 911 can be charged together a misdemeanor or a felony. Every Penal password 148.3 PC, it is a crime to:

report or cause a report to it is in made, to particular government agencies, the an “emergency” exists, understanding that the report is false.

An emergency report is any condition that results in, or could result in:

response of an emergency vehicle, aircraft, or courage (such as from the fire department, EMS, various other dispatchers, etc.), the evacuation of any kind of area, building, structure, or vehicle, OR activation that the Emergency alarm System.

A human who reports a false 911 emergency case is guilty of a misdemeanor if they recognize that the report is false. The punishment can be up to:

one-year ar jail, a $1,000 fine.

A false 911 emergency speak to is a felony if the human being making the contact to the emergency number:

knows that the report is false, to know or should understand that the emergency an answer is likely to cause death or good bodily injury, AND an excellent bodily injury or fatality results as result of the false report.

The punishment because that a felony conviction under this law could be up to:

3 years ar jail time, a $10,000 fine.

A human convicted of prank phone call 911 is likewise liable because that the reasonable expenses of any emergency services response.

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Please note that this ar does not use if a parent, guardian or custodian the a child provides a good confidence report the a boy is missing.

There are several possible defenses because that someone accused of do a false 911 call:

mistaken identification (it wasn’t me), great faith id that the report was true totally free speech.

Is a Prank 911 Call likewise Called Swatting?

Sometimes. Swatting is as soon as someone tries to create an emergency police response against another human under false pretenses. Swatters regularly do this by phone call 911 to falsely report a violent crime choose a shooting or hostage situation. The will of the prank callers is to acquire a Swat Team response.

Swatters might think what they are doing is a prank, but it deserve to have significant consequences. Swatting occupies law enforcement response teams, making them unavailable come respond to genuine emergencies.

Is the a Felony to do a Fake 911 Call?

It might be, depending on what is stated to the 911 operator. A false 911 emergency contact is a felony if the human being making the prank call call:

knows the the report is false, to know or should understand that the emergency solution is most likely to reason death or an excellent bodily injury, AND an excellent bodily injury or death results because of the false report.

The punishment for a felony under this law can be up to:

three years county jail, a $10,000 fine.

If the false 911 contact is a bomb threat, it deserve to be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony (see Penal password 148.1). As a misdemeanor, pranking 911 around a bomb hazard is punishable by approximately one year in jail. Together a felony it is punishable by increase to three years in jail.

A prankster convicted of make a fake 911 speak to or bomb danger is liable for the reasonable prices of any kind of emergency response.

What happens If I call Police and also Falsely Report a Crime?

It is a crime come telephone police officers and falsely report a crime. This uses even if it’s not a 911 call. Under Penal code 148.5 (c), any person who:

reports the a felony or misdemeanor has been committed, discovering the report is false, is guilty that a misdemeanor.

Falsely reporting a crime is punishable by up to 6 months in jail.

This law does not use to mandatory reporters. Obligated reporters are persons required by regulation to report recognized or doubt instances of:

son abuse, dependency adult abuse, OR elder abuse.

What is the Punishment for Making a Fake 911 Call?

Under Penal code 148.3 it is a crime to make a false report the an emergency. Do a false report is a misdemeanor punishable by:

one year in county jail, $1,000 fine.

Making a false phone call report of an emergency that outcomes in great bodily injury or death to any type of person is a felony. The punishment could be increase to:

three years ar jail, $10,000 fine.

A human being convicted of do a fake 911 contact is also liable because that the reasonable expenses of any kind of emergency response.

Please keep in mind if a parental or guardian has a good belief belief that a son is absent it is not thought about a false report.

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Are over there Defenses come Making a Fake 911 Call?

There are several defenses come a charge of making a fake or false 911 emergency call. This include:

mistaken identification (it wasn’t me), good faith id that the report to be true a mandated reporter made the call, defended free speech.

Note the it provides no distinction whether the prank call was made through dialing end a landline, a cell phone, or a payphone. That is irrelevant whether the caller decides to hang up ideal after the false report or decides to stay on the line. The does not matter what phone call number the person is call from, or whether 911 has actually caller identifier or to know the caller’s ar information. Nor does it issue if the caller intended it as a practical joke or thought it to be a non-emergency call.