Making a false alarm or report is a crime in Texas, often charged as a misdemeanor. According to 42.06 of the Texas Penal Code, this offense is committed if a person knowingly initiates, communicates or circulates a report of a present, past or future bombing, fire, offense or other emergency that he or she knows is false or baseless and that would ordinarily:
(1) cause action by an official or volunteer agency organized to deal with emergencies;
(2) place a person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury; or
(3) prevents or interrupt the occupation of a building, room, place of assembly, place to which the public has access, or aircraft, automobile or other mode of conveyance.
The severity of the punishment for making a false report or alarm depends on where the false alarm is reported to have occurred, not the location of the actor. If the false report involves a public or private institution of higher education or involves a public primary or secondary school, public communications, public transportation, public water, gas or power supply or other public service, the offense is a state jail felony, punishable from six month to two years in a state jail facility and up to a $10,000 fine.
If the alarm or false report involves any other location, it is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and up to a $4,000 fine. For example, pulling a fire alarm in a high school or calling in a false bomb threat at a university would likely be punished as a state jail felony.
If you have been arrested for a false alarm or report in Fort Worth, the charges can range from misdemeanor to felony penalties, depending on the specific circumstances. For help navigating the specifics of your case, retain an attorney today.