My 37 year old son made a 911 call saying that there was a disturbance at my home. He does not live at my home, I had him removed with the help of the police department several months ago. I was not home at the time nor was my fiancé.
To call 911 for any purpose other than to report an emergency could result in criminal penalties. Each state has different penalties for 911 misuse, but in the worst cases, abuse can lead to jail time and stiff fines.
For example, in California, the Penal code reads
653x. (a) Any person who telephones the 911 emergency line with the
intent to annoy or harass another person is guilty of a misdemeanor
punishable by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000),
by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than six months, or by
both the fine and imprisonment. Nothing in this section shall apply
to telephone calls made in good faith.
(b) An intent to annoy or harass is established by proof of
repeated calls over a period of time, however short, that are
unreasonable under the circumstances.
(c) Upon conviction of a violation of this section, a person also
shall be liable for all reasonable costs incurred by any unnecessary
653y. (a) Any person who knowingly allows the use or who uses the
911 telephone system for any reason other than because of an
emergency is guilty of an infraction, punishable as follows:
(1) For a first violation, a written warning shall be issued to
the violator by the public safety entity originally receiving the
call describing the punishment for subsequent violations. The written
warning shall inform the recipient to notify the issuing agency that
the warning was issued inappropriately if the recipient did not
make, or knowingly allow the use of the 911 telephone system for, the
nonemergency 911 call. The law enforcement agency may provide
educational materials regarding the appropriate use of the 911
(2) For a second or subsequent violation, a citation may be issued
by the public safety entity originally receiving the call pursuant
to which the violator shall be subject to the following penalties
that may be reduced by a court upon consideration of the violator's
ability to pay:
(A) For a second violation, a fine of fifty dollars ($50).
(B) For a third violation, a fine of one hundred dollars ($100).
(C) For a fourth or subsequent violation, a fine of two hundred
and fifty dollars ($250).
(b) The parent or legal guardian having custody and control of an
unemancipated minor who violates this section shall be jointly and
severally liable with the minor for the fine imposed pursuant to this
(c) For purposes of this section, "emergency" means any condition
in which emergency services will result in the saving of a life, a
reduction in the destruction of property, quicker apprehension of
criminals, or assistance with potentially life-threatening medical
problems, a fire, a need for rescue, an imminent potential crime, or
a similar situation in which immediate assistance is required.
(d) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), this section shall not apply
to a telephone corporation or any other entity for acts or omissions
relating to the routine maintenance, repair, or operation of the 911
or 311 telephone system.
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Yes, it is illegal. It's called "swatting" - the use of 911 to report an incident that gets emergency response to somebody else's location. File a police report.
The above answer is for general information only and is based on the information you posted. Every case is fact dependent, so to get a thorough analysis of your situation, you will need to consult face to face with an attorney licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where the incident took place. Do not conclusively rely on any information posted online when deciding what to do about your case.
No, it's not legal. I suspect you know that. Call the police (non-emergency number) and file a report. What's going on with your son?
SAN DIEGO CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY--20 years experience
Yes, but I do not believe there is any civil remedy. If any action is to be taken, I would recommend filing a police report and/or contacting the local District Attorney's Office to report the incident. I really doubt if the police or DA would take any action for an isolated incident. However, if a pattern of behavior develops, it would be good to make a record in the event that the police and/or DA eventually take some kind of action.
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