Understanding Bomb Threats

Bomb threats have become incredibly common in today’s society. They are so common, in fact, that schools regularly hold evacuation drills to teach students what to do if a bomb threat ever happens. Even if a bomb is never detonated, or if there was never a bomb to begin with, making a bomb threat is a serious crime. This is because local, state, and federal authorities must investigate any bomb threat that is made to ensure the safety of anyone nearby. These investigations use valuable police time and resources. As a result, if you are charged with making bomb threats in San Diego you will face harsh penalties for your crime.

Bomb Threats in California

Bomb threats are defined in California Penal Code Section 148.1 PC as making reports to another person or entity about the presence of a bomb or explosive in a public or private place that you know to be false.

Specifically, it is a crime to knowingly report a false bomb threat to any of the following people or groups:

  • Law enforcement officer;
  • Correctional officer;
  • Emergency medical technician (EMT);
  • Employee of a fire department or fire service;
  • District attorney or deputy district attorney;
  • Department of Justice employees;
  • Newspaper;
  • Radio station;
  • TV station;
  • Railroad or bus employees;
  • Telephone company employees;
  • Airport or airline employees; or
  • News reporters.

When a bomb threat is made maliciously, the recipient does not have to be a member of the aforementioned groups. Instead, the recipient can be any other person.

Bomb threats can be made verbally, in writing, electronically, or by mail with the intent to cause another person fear for their safety or the safety of a loved one. Prosecutors must prove that a bomb threat is made with the intent to “cause another to fear for his or her personal safety or the safety of others.” If you are facing charges for making bomb threats it is important to hire an experienced San Diego criminal defense attorney to defend you. Your attorney will make it difficult for the prosecution to prove that you had this required intent.

Consequences of Making Bomb Threats in California

Making a bomb threat in California is a misdemeanor offense punishable by a maximum of one year in a San Diego County jail. In addition to jail time, a court may impose fines of up to $1,000, probation, community service, and/or order mandatory counseling. If the bomb threat is made to intimidate, harm, or scare a specific person, a court may also issue a restraining order against the defendant. This restraining order will significantly limit the defendant’s ability to live, work, and travel anywhere near the subject of the order.

When you are convicted for making bomb threats in San Diego you will face criminal and non-criminal repercussions. Non-criminal repercussions, also known as collateral consequences, exist because you have a criminal record.  These social and civil penalties can include:

  • Difficulty finding employment;
  • Difficulty renting or buying a home;
  • Inability to secure a job in healthcare, education, or government;
  • Loss of gun ownership rights;
  • Loss of child custody and/or visitation rights; and/or
  • Inability to participate in government welfare programs.

Making Bomb Threats is a Federal Offense

Making bomb threats is both a state and federal crime. Federal law makes it a crime to intentionally and maliciously make a bomb threat or file a false bomb threat with the intent to kill, injure, or destroy airplanes or vehicles. When bomb threats can be taken seriously and would be believed by a reasonable person, a defendant can face up to five years in a federal prison.

Fighting Criminal Charges in San Diego

Bomb threats are no laughing matter to law enforcement and prosecutors in San Diego. If you make a bomb threat or false bomb threat with the intent to injure, harm, or frighten another person you can face serious criminal and non-criminal consequences. Prosecutors handling your case will not hesitate to pursue the harshest penalties for your crime. You can increase the likelihood of securing a positive outcome in your case by hiring an experienced San Diego criminal defense attorney.

Call the Law Office of Vikas Bajaj, APC to schedule a free consultation and learn more. We will review your case, determine the best defense, and explain your rights. We know that your future is on the line and will fight to make sure that you have every opportunity to defend yourself.

Law Office of Vikas Bajaj, APC
1230 Columbia Street Suite 565
San Diego, CA 92101


Bomb Threats