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False Bomb Report Law & Defense
Information on the crime of false bomb report, or falsely reporting a bomb threat, is found at California penal code section 148.1.
Note: it does not matter whether or not a fake bomb actually exist for a PC 148.1 crime to be complete; however, if there is a fake bomb that is reported as a real bomb, then the defendant could be charged with enhanced penalties under PC 148.1(d) (See Below).
PC 148.1(a) Report of a false Bomb Threat to Designated Persons: Any person who reports to any peace officer, employee of a fire department or fire service, district attorney, newspaper, radio station, television station, district attorney, employees of the Department of Justice, employees of an airline, employees of an airport, employees of a railroad or busline, an employee of a telephone company, occupants of a building or a news reporter in the employ of a newspaper or radio or television station, that a bomb or other explosive has been or will be placed or secreted in any public or private place, knowing that the report is false, is guilty of falsely reporting a bomb threat (PC 148.1(a) Abbrev.).
PC 148.1(b) Reporting a False Bomb Threat to a Peace Officer: Any person who reports to any other peace officer... that a bomb or other explosive has been or will be placed or secreted in any public or private place, knowing that the report is false, is guilty of fasley reporting a bomb threat (PC 148.1(b) Abbrev.).
Note: The difference betwen PC 148.1(a), 148.1(b), and 148.1(c) is that a report of a false bomb threat to just about any law enforcement related agency is covered under PC 148.1(a); a report to a known police officer is covered under PC 148.1(b), and a report to any person of a false bomb threat is covered under PC 148.1(c).
PC 148.1(c) Reporting a false bomb threat to any person: Any person who maliciously informs any other person that a bomb or other explosive has been or will be placed or secreted in any public or private place, knowing that the information is false, is guilty of falsely reporting a bomb threat to anyone (PC 148.1(c) Abbrev.).
PC 148.1(d) Sending or possessing a False Bomb with Intent to Cause Fear: Sending a false or facsimile bomb to anyone or place with the intent to cause anohter person fear of his or her safety is guilty of possessing or sending a false bomb with intent to cause fear (PC 148.1(d) Abbrev.).
PC 148.1 Penalties
PC 148.1 Crimes are charged as misdemeanors or as felonies. With a few exceptions, most penalties in PC 148.1 cases are similar despite the differences in charges (i.e. PC 148.1(a) versus 148.1(b), etc.). For this reason, only the penalties associated with PC 148.1(a) are included to avoid repetition.
Felony PC 148.1(a): If found guilty of Report of a False Bomb Threat as a felony, the defendant could face up to 16 months, 2 years, or three years in jail (depending on any mitigation or aggravation factors present in the case.
Misdemenaor PC 148.1(a): If found guilty of Report of a False Bomb Threat as a misdemeanor, the defendant could face up to one year in the county jail.
Probation: A probation Sentence is period of supervision instead of jail. Probation sentences are sometimes available in PC 148.1 cases depending on several factors, including the defendant's criminal history and the facts of the case. Probation sentences for felony PC 148.1 cases is called formal probation, which is monitored by a probation officer; probation sentences for misdemeanor PC 148.1 cases is called informal probation, which is monitored by the court. Sometimes, a probation sentence after a conviction of reporting a false bomb threat, will include work release or house arrest (electronic monitoring).
PC 1170(h) Sentence: If the defendant sentenced to jail after a PC 148.1 conviction, as opposed to being granted a probation setnence, he or she might be able to have that jail sentence suspended or split (served partially in custody and partially out of custody on work release)
CIMT: Reporting a fake bomb threat is likley a crime involving moral turpitude as it involves deceit. Crimes involving moral turpitude carry collateral consequences for persons who hold a professional license (discipline, revocation, or denial of a professional license) or for persons attempting to become a U.S. citizen (deportation or denial of U.S. citizenship possible).
Three Strikes Law: Reporting a false bomb is not a strike crime per California's Three Strikes Law.
In addition to a possbile jail sentence, if found guilty of any C 148.1 crime, the defendant could face any of the additional penalties: civil lawsuits, restitution, loss of the right to own a firearm, fines and fees, restraining orders, loss of the right to enter the armed forces, and more.
Defenses to PC 148.1
Common defenses to a charge of falsely reporting a bomb threat include: mistake of fact, coerced confessions, illegal search and seizure, severe intoxication, insanity, duress, insufficient evidence, statute of limitations, and more.
If you have been arrested or charged with the crime of reporting a fake bomb, or PC 148.1, contact out criminal defense lawyers today for a free consultation. Call today!
Quick Reference Sheet
Crime: False Report of Bomb
Code: PC 148.1(a)
Wobbler: Yes. PC 148.1(a) is a wobbler crime. This means that the crime may be charged as a felony or as a misdemeanor.
Incarceration: Felony PC 148.1(a) jail sentence range: 16 months, 2 or 3 years (if probation not granted). Misdemeanor jail sentence up to 1 year.
Probation: Probation may be available in PC 148.1(a) cases (assuming other crimes or enhancements that bar a probation sentence are not present). Whether or not a probation sentence is offered by the District Attorney, or granted by the court, depends on several factors, including the defendant's criminal history and the facts of the case.
Work Release or House Arrest: In some cases, a probation sentence can include actual in-custody county jail, house arrest (electronic monitoring), or work release (or some combination of these penalties); however, most in-custody jail sentence orders that are required as a terms of probation are much shorter than the maximum jail sentence.
PC 1170(h)): Yes. Felony PC 148.1(a) is subject to PC 1170(h) sentencing. This means that any jail or prison sentence may be:
Split (half in-custody / half out-of-custody)
Suspended (possibly never served)
Served in county jail (not state prison)
Strike: PC 148.1(a) is not a strike offense listed in California's Three Strikes law.
Credits: 50% good conduct credits available.
CIMT: PC 148.1(a) is likely a crime involving moral turpitude, which means that an arrest or conviction could lead to the following:
Professional Licensing problems
Impeachment on credibility
Firearms: Felony PC 148.1(a) convictions prohibit a defendant from owning or possessing a firearm.
Bail: $25,000 (Felony); $5,000 (Misdemeanor) (San Bernardino County)
Note: More penalties may apply. Accuracy not guaranteed. If arrested or charged with a crime contact a criminal defense lawyer without delay.
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