Penal Code 148.3 PC; 148.4 PC; 148.5 PC

PC 148.3; PC 148.4; PC 148.5 – Falsely Reporting a Fire, Emergency or Crime

PC 148.3; PC 148.4; PC 148.5 - Falsely Reporting a Fire, Emergency or Crime

Falsely Reporting a Fire, Emergency or Crime – Table of Contents

PC 148.3; 148.4; 148.5 – Overview

It is unlawful for any person to misrepresent or falsely report to any State Agency that an emergency exists knowing that a fire does not exist.

What is the definition of falsely reporting a fire under Penal Code 148.4 PC?

It is unlawful for any person to misrepresent or falsely report a fire by signal or alarm system to a State Agency knowing that a fire does not exist.

What is the definition of falsely reporting a crime under Penal Code 148.5 PC?

It is unlawful for any person to misrepresent or falsely report a crime to a grand jury or peace officer knowing that a crime does not exist.

What is the definition of an emergency as defined under Penal Code 148.3 PC?

An emergency is any condition that can jeopardize the health, safety and welfare of the public that results in any evacuation from a building, area, or vehicle, or one that may affect the utilization of the Emergency Alter System. The Emergency Alter System is used when there is imminent threat of death or harm to a peace officer or public and is designated a” Blue Alert.”

What is the mental state required for a violation of Penal Codes 148.3 PC; Penal Code 148.4 PC; and Penal Code 148.5 PC?

The mental state required to trigger a violation of Penal Codes 148.3 PC; Penal Code 148.4 PC; and Penal Code 148.5 PC is knowingly and willful. Knowingly is a conscious understanding of the nature of the act desired to be completed; while having a reasonable understanding of the circumstances that would result in having the conduct completed. Willful is the conscious understanding that a conduct is unlawful and desired it to be completed while disregarding whether or not substantial bodily harm can result; while having a reasonable understating of the circumstances that would result.

As applied under Penal Codes 148.3 PC; Penal Codes 148.4 PC; and Penal Codes 148.5 PC, the State must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the accused had either a conscious understanding that he was reporting an emergency to a State Agency; or that he was reporting or claiming a Blue Alert; a conscious understanding that he was reporting a fire to a State Agency by triggering an alarm system or by report; a conscious understanding that he was reporting a crime to a grand jury or enforcement agency; knowing the report was false and knowing that doing so was unlawful and against the law; but desired its result; and had a conscious understanding of the circumstances that might result.

Are there any exceptions to a violation of Penal Codes 148.3 PC; Penal Code 148.4 PC; and Penal Code 148.5 PC?

Yes. Under Penal Code 148.3 PC, an emergency from a good faith belief by a parent, custodian or one with lawful parental rights that a child is missing is not a violation. Under Penal Code 148.5 PC, if a false report is made to a peace officer when they are not working or in the commission of their lawful duties.

PC 148.3; 148.4; 148.5 – Sentencing

A violation of Penal Code 148.3 PC; Penal Code 148.4 PC; Penal Code 148.5 PC can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. As a misdemeanor the penalty is confinement not exceeding 1 year in jail, with fines not exceeding $1000 dollars. As a felony, that can result in seriously bodily injury or death in the commission of the false report or tamper; the penalty is confinement terms of 16 months, 2 or 3 years in prison, with fines not exceeding $10,000 dollars.

What is an example of violations of Penal Code 148.3 PC; Penal Code 148.4 PC; and Penal Code 148.5 PC?

James and Jake called the News and 911, stating, “My Mother’s boyfriend Rick, has a firebomb packed with TNT strapped to his body and is driving to City Hall right now to walk into the building and detonate himself inside, unless Mayor does not give him a job”. Within 5 minutes LAPD SWAT and KTLA were prompt and reporting the circumstances; they took the matter serious. After an hour, an investigation was made regarding the trace of the phone call. The phone was traced to Jake’s home. Police issued a no-knock warrant and kicked the door in. Jake was arrested. Once detained, he also implicated James who was also arrested.

PC 148.3; 148.4; 148.5 – Defenses

  • Good Faith – The circumstances warranted a good faith belief that there was an emergency, a fire, or a crime in commission or about to occur.
  • Reasonableness of Novelty – Even if the report was made to a police officer, or emergency personal the circumstances of the facts were so outlandish as to allow a reasonable person to ascertain that it was a joke.

Falsely Reporting a Fire, Emergency or Crime – Hire Us

If you are charged with a violation of Penal Code 148.3 PC; Penal Code 148.4 PC; Penal Code 148.5 PC, call The Esfandi Law Group, APLC. Contact Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Seppi Esfandi, principal attorney of The Esfandi Law Group, APLC.

Need a Criminal Defense Attorney? CALL NOW: 310-274-6529

Seppi Esfandi is an Expert Criminal Defense Attorney who has over 20 years of practice defending a variety of criminal cases.

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How to Win Your Case

We cannot stress enough that you read, understand and follow these 10 basic rules if you are criminally charged or under investigation:

  1. Don’t ever talk to the police
  2. Do not discuss your case with anyone
  3. Everything you tell your lawyer is confidential
  4. Tell police you need to contact your attorney
  5. Never consent to any search by the police
  6. If the police knock on your door, don't answer!
  7. Realize the consequences of a criminal conviction
  8. Your lawyer (not you) will contact any witnesses
  9. Information on your cell phone is evidence
  10. Early Intervention is the key

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