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California Penal Code Section 148.3

148.3. (a) Any individual who reports, or causes any report to be made, to any city, county, city and county, or state department, district, agency, division, commission, or board, that an emergency exists, knowing that the report is false, is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for a period not exceeding one year, or by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine.

(b) Any individual who reports, or causes any report to be made, to any city, county, city and county, or state department, district, agency, division, commission, or board, that an emergency exists, who knows that the report is false, and who knows or should know that the response to the report is likely to cause death or great bodily injury, and great bodily injury or death is sustained by any person as a result of the false report, is guilty of a felony and upon conviction thereof shall be punishable by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170, or by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine.

(c) Emergency as used in this section means any condition that results in, or could result in, the response of a public official in an authorized emergency vehicle, aircraft, or vessel, any condition that jeopardizes or could jeopardize public safety and results in, or could result in, the evacuation of any area, building, structure, vehicle, or of any other place that any individual may enter, or any situation that results in or could result in activation of the Emergency Alert System pursuant to Section 8594 of the Government Code. An activation or possible activation of the Emergency Alert System pursuant to Section 8594 of the Government Code shall not constitute an emergency for purposes of this section if it occurs as the result of a report made or caused to be made by a parent, guardian, or lawful custodian of a child that is based on a good faith belief that the child is missing.

(d) Nothing in this section precludes punishment for the conduct described in subdivision (a) or (b) under any other section of law providing for greater punishment for that conduct.

(e) Any individual convicted of violating this section, based upon a report that resulted in an emergency response, is liable to a public agency for the reasonable costs of the emergency response by that public agency.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 284, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2014.)

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Last modified: September 9, 2016