We live in a world where safety concerns like bomb threats or random shooting are something we hear about all too often. Many establishments such as schools, airports, and large public venues have policies in place for what to do if that kind of threat should occur. In the event that a threat is reported, law enforcement will immediately jump into action. So, what happens if the reported threat is false and a lie? Does the person who falsified the threat deserve to be punished? What about the time, cost, and mental disruption caused by those involved in the steps that take place after the threat is reported?
What Florida Statutes Say Regarding Falsify A Threat
According to Florida law, "it is unlawful for any person to make a false report, with intent to deceive, mislead, or otherwise misinform any person, concerning the placing or planting of any bomb, dynamite, or other deadly explosive, or weapon of mass destruction." This includes the use of firearms against a person or persons. It's considered a serious crime and is punishable by up to a second-degree felony charge. In addition to potentially serving jail time, the person who made the claim maybe be forced to pay restitution to the courts to pay for any damages or costs associated with the outcome of the alleged threat. These punishments depend on the severity of the threat and those involved.
In a recent Florida case, a 12-year-old middle schooler told her teacher she saw a man dressed in black on the school's campus with a gun. Hysteria ensued leading to the deployment of 75 officers including several K9 units. The students in attendance that day were sent through metal detectors and parents waited blocks away from the school until they were able to get to their safe children. At the end of the ordeal, it was discovered that the girl who reported the man with the gun was lying and didn't see anyone at all. While there appears to be no explanation for her lie, the young girl is being charged with a second-degree felony.
The Sheriff overseeing the case was quoted as saying, "I think that the only way to handle this is by taking a hardline stance and making sure all of our children know if you make a school-based threat, it's no different than making a threat in an airport or in an airplane. It's going to be [prosecuted] to the fullest extent."
Have You Been Accused of Falsifying A Threat?
If you or someone you know are accused of falsifying a threat that could lead to criminal prosecution, contacting an experienced criminal defense attorney is in your best interest. Russell Spatz has decades of experience and a respected reputation in the legal community. He can be reached at (305) 422-0200.
(2019, February 28). Retrieved from http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0700-0799/0790/Sections/0790.163.html