Calling in a false bomb or shooting threat is not a harmless prank in Illinois.  For example, a Des Plaines man faces several felony and misdemeanor charges even though the DeKalb County Sheriff determined there were no credible threats. (See Des Plaines man accused of threatening schools, judges.)

Under 720 ILCS 5/26-1(a)(3), you commit disorderly conduct when you transmit a false bomb threat. You threaten a public official under 720 ILCS 5/12-9(a)(1) when you knowingly, directly or indirectly, placing them or their immediate family in reasonable fear of  harm to themselves or their property.  The threat must be conveyed because the official’s performance or nonperformance of their public duty, because you are hostile toward public officials, or because of any other factor related to the official’s public existence.

Under 720 ILCS 5/26-1(a)(3.5), you threaten a school when you threaten to destroy school property, or threaten violence, death or bodily harm against people at school whether or not school is in session.

Under 720 ILCS 5/26-2(a)(2), you commit telephone harassment when you use the phone intending to threaten another person.

If you are charged with making threats or a similar offense, contact an experienced criminal law attorney immediately. An attorney can review your case for its best possible defense. Can the state prove all the elements of your offense beyond a reasonable doubt? Did you knowingly make a threat? Perhaps it was just a bad joke. Even if the evidence against you is overwhelming, 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

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)

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