Can your child go to jail for making fake 911 calls?

On Behalf of | Jun 28, 2024 | Juvenile Crimes

The things a child can do with a phone are almost endless: They can watch videos online, play games and even access emergency services. While it is important to teach the significance of 911 in emergencies, some may make prank calls without understanding that it could lead to a year in jail. This begs the question: Can your child go to jail for a fake 911 call?

The law takes prank calls seriously

Swatting is a criminal harassment that involves making hoax phone calls to report a serious crime to emergency services, which make the SWAT team respond to the supposed scene. The severity of the charges depends on the specifics of the call.

Florida’s juvenile justice system prioritizes rehabilitation over punishment for minors. Judges consider factors like the child’s age, intent and any prior offenses. For a first-time offense, especially with a young child, jail time is unlikely. In some severe cases, the court may charge them as adults, which means it could be a felony.

The more likely outcome is probation, community service or educational programs designed to teach the importance of responsible 911 use. These programs can help children understand the danger of tying up emergency lines and the potential consequences for real emergencies.

A criminal charge can put your child’s future at risk

Children can make mistakes. If they are facing criminal charges, having an attorney experienced in juvenile law is crucial. They can help assess your situation, recommend the best legal recourse possible and fight for you and your child.


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