False Alarm or Report

Texas Criminal Law

The False Alarm or Report crime in the state of Texas gives police the right to arrest you if they believe you communicated a report about an emergency situation that you knew was false. Learn more detailed information about the False Alarm or Report offense below.

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False Alarm or Report is classified in the Texas Penal Code under Title 9 “Offenses Against Public Order and Decency”, Chapter 42 “Disorderly Conduct and Related Offenses.”

What is the current Texas law about False Alarm or Report?

The current Texas law defines the offense of False Alarm or Report in Penal Code Section §42.06 as follows:[1]

(a) A person commits an offense if he knowingly initiates, communicates or circulates a report of a present, past, or future bombing, fire, offense, or other emergency that he 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) prevent 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.

How can I be charged with False Alarm or Report?

You can be charged with False Alarm or Report if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of 42.06(b) as described in the section above have been met.

What is the punishment for False Alarm or Report?

A conviction for False Alarm or Report is punished by default as a Class A misdemeanor,[2] with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $4,000 and jail time of up to one year. Learn about the differences between grades of felonies and misdemeanors

However, a conviction for False Alarm or Report is punished as a State Jail Felony if “[t]he false report is of an emergency involving a public or private institution of higher education or involving a public primary or secondary school, public communications, public transportation, public water, gas, or power supply or other public service.”[3]

Legal References:

^1. Texas Penal Code §42.06^2. Texas Penal Code §42.06(b)^3. Texas Penal Code §42.06(b)

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