False Public Alarm Charges in New Jersey

Our Former Prosecutors & Highly Skilled NJ Criminal Defense Lawyers Are Ready To Defend Your False Public Alarm Offense

A lapse in judgment by making a call to the police, a school or other governmental agency can have serious consequences when it involves creating false public alarm. In New Jersey, this conduct results in a felony criminal offense under N.J.S.A. 2C:33-3 so you must take action to protect yourself if you have been charged with violating this law. Failure to secure an acquittal will leave you with not only a record but also the possibility of a state prison sentence.

Selecting the right NJ criminal defense attorney to defend your false public alarm case is extremely important since your future is on the line. Our team has impressive qualification to ensure you receive the best possible representation, including:

  • Over 200 years of combined experience defending criminal charges in NJ
  • 12 lawyers who practices are dedicated exclusively to defense
  • Former county and municipal prosecutors that know how the system works from both sides
  • Certified criminal trial attorneys on staff
  • A long history of successful outcomes throughout the state

Call us anytime 24/7 for a free initial consultation with a lawyer at the firm to discuss your case. Attorneys can be reached immediately at 877-450-8301.

New Jersey Criminal Charge for Causing False Public Alarm

A violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:33-3 can result in a first degree, second degree, third degree or fourth degree crime depending on the facts of your case. The headings below outline each degree of offense in more detail.

a. Third Degree Crime. It is a third degree crime to knowingly make a false call, report or other warning of  “an impending fire, explosion, crime, catastrophe, emergency, or any other incident” that is likely to cause an evacuation or public inconvenience or alarm. Third degree charges for false public alarm also arise where someone knowingly causes false alarm within an organization dealing with emergencies involving danger to life or property such as a fire company or first aid squad.

b. Second Degree Crime. An individual may be charged with second degree false public alarm where the alarm involves: (1) a bombing, hostage situation, person armed with a deadly weapon or any other incident that elicits an immediate or heightened response by law enforcement or emergency services; (2) a report or warning about a critical state infrastructure (i.e. building, place of assembly, or facility that is indispensably necessary for national security, economic stability, or public safety); (3) an incident resulting in serious bodily injury to another person; (4) an incident that occurred during a declared period of national State or county emergency.

c. First Degree Crime.  Creating or causing false public alarm is a first degree crime where the conduct results in death to one or more persons. First degree false public alarm also results where the incident occurs during a period of state, county or national emergency and involves an alleged bombing of a building, place of assembly, public transportation facility or another place likely to cause public inconvenience or alarm.

d. Fourth Degree Crime. It is a fourth degree crime for someone to knowingly place a 911 call when there is no purpose to actually report a 911 emergency.

Penalties for Creating False Public Alarm in New Jersey

The most serious variety of false alarm case is a first degree crime that carries 10-20 years in prison and a fine of up to $200,000. Second degree charges for creating false public alarm results in 5-10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $150,000. A third degree crime for making a fake or fraudulent report of a fire or similar emergency triggers up to 5 years in prison and a $15,000. The lowest grade of false alarm offense is a fourth degree that can land you in prison for up to 18 months and result in a fine that can reach $10,000.

Driver’s License Suspension When Juvenile Causes False Public Alarm. A judge sentencing a juvenile for creating a false public alarm is required to impose a six month driver’s license suspension in accordance with N.J.S.A. 2C:33-3.1. If the defendant has yet to obtain his/her driver’s license, they shall have their ability to obtain privileges delayed by six months. (c) Persons Already Under Suspension

Civil Penalty. An individual convicted for violating 2C:33-3 is also exposed to a civil penalty that is the greater of $2,000 or the actual costs incurred by the police, fire company and/or emergency services as a result of the false public alarm.

False Public Alarm Attorneys in New Jersey

An individual rarely anticipates the severity of the penalties for a false alarm when they make the lapse in judgment to pick up the telephone, write an email or send a letter reporting a threat. The aftermath of an arrest for this offense is typically met with shock upon learning that the charge is always a felony and can land someone in prison for years. There is little doubt that hiring a skilled attorney to defend this violation is the best thing you can do to avert the negative ramifications of a conviction. The lawyers at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall are ready to take on this role. Contact our office anytime 24/7 at 877-450-8301 for a free consultation.