The state of California considers making a false report about an emergency, fire, or a crime to be a criminal act. In fact, individuals may be prosecuted under California Penal Code Section 148.3, 148.4 & 148.5: Falsely Reporting An Emergency, Fire Or Crime for this action.
These three charges can be difficult to understand without a legal background. Make sure you understand the ins-and-outs of PC 148.3, 148.4, and 148.5 charges with the Simmrin Law Group today.
Penal Code Section 148.3: Falsely Reporting an Emergency
Individuals may be charged under PC 148.3: Falsely Reporting an Emergency if they knowingly claim that an emergency is occurring. PC 148.3 can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony. Felony charges generally only apply if an individual reports a false emergency while knowing that responders could face:
- Great Bodily Injuries
Penal Code Section 148.4: Falsely Reporting a Fire
Falsely reporting a fire can lead to specific criminal charges under PC 148.4 in California. Individuals may face PC 148.4 charges if they transmit a false fire alarm with:
- A Fire Alarm System
- Any Other Methods or Means
Note that PC 148.4 charges also apply if an individual purposefully carries out actions that will break or damage:
- Fire Protection Equipment
- Fire Protection Installation
- Fire Alarm Apparatuses
- Fire Alarm Wires
- Fire Alarm Signals
Falsely reporting a fire is generally charged as a misdemeanor. However, if someone sustains a great bodily injury or dies due to the false report, PC 148.4 can be prosecuted as a felony in California.
Penal Code Section 148.5: Falsely Reporting a Crime
Making a false report regarding a criminal act can be prosecuted under PC 148.5 in California. Individuals can face criminal charges for falsely reporting a crime to:
- Peace Officers
- Employees of State or Local Agencies
- Grand Juries
- The Attorney General or Deputy Attorney General
- District Attorneys or Deputy District Attorneys
Individuals may falsely report either misdemeanors or felonies to be convicted under PC 148.5. Note that – unlike PC 148.3 or PC 148.4 charges – PC 148.5 is only charged as a misdemeanor in the court system.
Penalties for a PC 148.3, 148.4, or 148.5 Conviction
The penalties for misdemeanor or felony charges in California are different. Depending on the specific charges an individual is facing, they could be sentenced to:
- Fines of Up to $1,000
- Jail Time of Up to 1 Year
- Fines of Up to $10,000
- Prison Time of Up to 3 Years
These penalties should always be taken very seriously. Individuals who are accused of falsely reporting an emergency, fire, or a crime should contact a professional legal team right away. California also penalizes other false claims and reports harshly. Individuals may face similar penalties for:
- California Penal Code Section 115: Filing a False Document
- California Penal Code Section 118.1: Police Officers Filing False Reports
- California Penal Code Section 132 & 134: Offering Or Preparing False Evidence
Examples of PC 148.3, 148.4, or 148.5 Charges
Increase your familiarity with PC 148.3, 148.4, or 148.5 Charges with these examples:
Man A thinks it would be funny to get out of work by reporting a fire. He pulls the fire alarm and calls the fire department, reporting that there’s an inferno at his place of business. Once firefighters confirm that there is no fire, Man A could be convicted of a misdemeanor PC 148.4 violation.
Man B is angry with his ex-girlfriend and decides to get her back. He falsely accuses her of selling drugs to neighborhood kids. The police investigate the case and find that the accusations are completely unfounded. Man B could be prosecuted under PC 148.5.
Building a Defense to PC 148.3, 148.4, or 148.5 Charges
It can be difficult to legally defend yourself from PC 148.3, 148.4, or 148.5 charges alone. You may be able to get help protecting your future by contacting a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles. A legal professional may be able to argue that you did not intentionally make a false report.
Unintentionally making a false report about a fire, emergency, or a crime should not result in a criminal conviction.
Speak with a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Los Angeles Now
You can get the legal support you need if you are charged under California Penal Code Section 148.3, 148.4 & 148.5: Falsely Reporting An Emergency, Fire Or Crime. The professionals at the Simmrin Law Group can start going over your case today with a FREE initial case evaluation.
You can talk to a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles by calling (310) 997-4688, or filling out our online contact form.