Making prank bomb and shooting threats is a felony offense

On Behalf of | Mar 13, 2024 | Felonies

Thanks to multiple incidents in recent years, America takes every bomb and shooting threat seriously. A real threat can cost people’s lives and sow fear within a community, which is why law enforcement acts swiftly to deter the violent act and mitigate damage.

But what if the threat is fake; a cruel prank made to spite others?

Florida takes the safety of its citizens seriously, especially when it comes to threats involving bombs, firearms, and weapons of mass destruction. Making a prank threat about such serious matters is not just a bad idea; it’s a felony crime.

Joke threats are no laughing matter

Under Florida law, it’s a felony to make a false report about planting a bomb, explosive, or weapon of mass destruction, or using firearms in a violent manner. This law recognizes that such threats can cause widespread panic, waste law enforcement resources, and potentially lead to harm if people react in fear.

What counts as a criminal offense under the law?

Besides bomb threats, other joke threats that could lead to criminal charges include:

  • Falsely reporting an active shooter situation
  • Threatening to release a hazardous substance
  • Falsely reporting the presence of any device or substance designed to cause serious bodily harm or death

These actions are considered serious offenses because they can lead to significant public disruption and fear.

Penalties for making false threats

The penalties for those convicted of making a false report are severe. The offense is classified as a second-degree felony, which can result in:

  • Up to 15 years in prison
  • Fines reaching $10,000
  • A permanent criminal record that can affect future employment and rights

Because making jokes about a bomb or shooting threat can still endanger people’s lives, it’s a serious criminal offense. If you face charges, know that your joke will lead to real penalties on conviction. A legal professional may be able to protect your rights in court and advise you on your defense options.


FindLaw Network