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Even a false bomb threat can carry serious penalties


Last month, a man was arrested after he allegedly tried to rob a Torrance branch of Bank of America on Pacific Coast Highway. Attempted robbery is a serious crime, but the man’s legal situation was made worse by the fact that the robbery note he gave the teller, according to Torrance police, also stated that he had a bomb.

The man left the bank without any money and was immediately apprehended by police. No bomb was found on him or in his vehicle.

Penalties under California law

Even a false statement that someone has a bomb or other explosive device with them or has placed one somewhere can land a person in serious legal jeopardy. Under California law, anyone 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 a crime punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed one year.”

A person can be subject to that same penalty if they send a “false or facsimile bomb to another person, or places, causes to be placed, or maliciously possesses any false or facsimile bomb, with the intent to cause another to fear for his or her personal safety or the safety of others.”

Why the authorities take this crime seriously

In addition to facing penalties under California law, a person could face federal charges as well. Besides the fear and chaos a hoax bomb threat can cause, it can result in the need for extensive law enforcement and other safety resources. Therefore, all levels of the justice system take such threats and actions seriously – regardless of what their purpose was.

If you’re facing charges that involve a bomb “hoax” or false threat, even if you weren’t the one who specifically made that threat or it wasn’t meant to be taken seriously, you can be sure that law enforcement and prosecutors will take it seriously. It’s crucial not to try to deal with the justice system on your own.

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