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False Bomb Threat in Kissimmee May Lead to Felony Charges

Crime

Local authorities evacuated a number of houses in Osceola County after someone made a bomb threat. The threat originated around 8 p.m. and was directed at a home on Binnacle Street in the Neptune Pointe subdivision near U.S. Highway 192. The police investigated the area with dogs, determined the bomb threat was a hoax, and let people return home around 1 a.m. the next morning. Lt. Ryan Berry of the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office stated the force would be looking into who called in a fake bomb threat as this is a serious crime that can result in felony charges.

If you have been accused of a bomb hoax, do not try and handle this situation yourself. Due to the current climate in the U.S. and our country’s experienced with terrorism, bomb threats are taken very seriously under the law. You will need an experienced Kissimmee defense attorney to defend you against these accusation.

Making a Fake Bomb Threat

Two Florida laws cover the crime of false bomb threats. Florida Statute 790.163 states it is unlawful for anyone to:

  • Make a false report,
  • With the intent to deceive, mislead, or otherwise misinform any person,
  • About the placing or planting of any bomb, deadly explosive or weapon of mass destruction, or
  • Concerning the violent use of firearms against another person or persons.

Florida Statute 790.164 states it is illegal for any person to:

  • Make a false report,
  • With the intent to deceive, mislead, or otherwise misinform any person,
  • About the placing or planting of any bomb, deadly explosive or weapon of mass destruction,
  • Concerning any act of arson or violence to property owned by the state or a political subdivision, or
  • About the use of firearms in a violent manner against an individual or people.

A crime under either of these statutes is a second degree felony, punishable by prison for up to 15 years and up to a $10,000 fine.

Bomb Hoax Could Lead to Federal Charges

There are many circumstances in which a fake bomb threat is not charged under Florida law, but instead is charged as a federal crime. Section 35 of Title 18 states there are civil and criminal penalties for imparting or conveying false information about any attempts to damage, destroy, or disable aircrafts, vehicles, or their related facilities. Under federal law, it is a felony for anyone who:

  • willfully and maliciously, or
  • with reckless disregard for the safety of human life,
  • imparts, conveys, or causes to be imparted or conveyed,
  • false information,
  • knowing the information to be false,
  • concerning an attempt or an alleged attempt being made or to be made,
  • to do any act which would be a crime under this chapter.

If convicted of a federal charge for a bomb hoax, you can be sentenced to up to 5 years in prison.

Contact a Kissimmee / Orlando / Maitland-Altamonte Springs Criminal Defense Attorney for Help

If you have been accused of making a bomb threat, you must take your situation seriously and work with an experienced Kissimmee criminal defense lawyer. At Salazar & Kelly Law Group, P.A., we know what you are up against. You could face years in state or federal prison for misinterpreted words or a joke gone wrong. Call us at 407-483-0500 as soon as possible so we can begin building your defense immediately.

Resources:

law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/35

leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0700-0799/0790/Sections/0790.164.html

leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0700-0799/0790/Sections/0790.163.html

orlandosentinel.com/news/breaking-news/os-bomb-threat-osceola-county-20170118-story.html

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