Calling 911 with a false alarm, such as a fake bomb threat, can be charged as disorderly conduct.
Under 720 ILCS 5/26-1(a)(6), you commit disorderly conduct when: (1) you knowingly called 911 or transmited a false report to a public safety agency, (2) you knew there was no reasonable basis for doing so, and (3) you knew that the call or report could result in an emergency response.
If the state fails to prove the first element, it does not reach the second. For example, in People v. Purta, the defendant contacted his district manager, stating he’d been frightened by two or three men who walked by his store with a shotgun and assault rifle. The district manager called 911. The trial court convicted the defendant based on the manager’s call.
The appellate court, however, reversed. The state did not prove that the defendant had knowingly caused the information to be transmitted to the public safety agency, it said. To act knowingly, the defendant had to be practically certain that the call to his manager would result in a call to 911. Such an inference was unreasonable.
If you have been charged with a criminal offense, contact an experienced attorney immediately. An attorney can review your case for its best possible defense. As with most crimes, the state must prove all the elements beyond a reasonable doubt. Even if the state’s evidence is airtight, an attorney who is respected in the courthouse may be able to negotiate a more favorable plea agreement than you could on your own.
If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email email@example.com.
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