LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney Kenneth Albert Vercammen | Apr 3, 2012

NJSA 2C:33-3 False Public Alarms

NJSA 2C:33-3 False Public Alarms

Kenneth Vercammen's Law office represents individuals charged with criminal and serious traffic violations throughout New Jersey.

2C:33-3. False Public Alarms. a. Except as provided in subsection b. or c. of this section, a person is guilty of a crime of the third degree if he initiates or circulates a report or warning of an impending fire, explosion, bombing, crime, catastrophe or emergency knowing that the report or warning is false or baseless and that it is likely to cause evacuation of a building, place of assembly, or facility of public transport, or to cause public inconvenience or alarm. A person is guilty of a crime of the third degree if he knowingly causes such false alarm to be transmitted to or within any organization, official or volunteer, for dealing with emergencies involving danger to life or property.

B. A person is guilty of a crime of the second degree if in addition to the report or warning initiated, circulated or transmitted under subsection a. of this section, he places or causes to be placed any false or facsimile bomb in a building, place of assembly, or facility of public transport or in a place likely to cause public inconvenience or alarm. A violation of this subsection is a crime of the first degree if it occurs during a declared period of national, State or county emergency.

c. A person is guilty of a crime of the second degree if a violation of subsection a. of this section in fact results in serious bodily injury to another person or occurs during a declared period of national, State or county emergency. A person is guilty of a crime of the first degree if a violation of subsection a. of this section in fact results in death.

d. For the purposes of this section, "in fact" means that strict liability is imposed. It shall not be a defense that the death or serious bodily injury was not a foreseeable consequence of the person's acts or that the death or serious bodily injury was caused by the actions of another person or by circumstances beyond the control of the actor. The actor shall be strictly liable upon proof that the crime occurred during a declared period of national, State or county emergency. It shall not be a defense that the actor did not know that there was a declared period of emergency at the time the crime occurred.

e. A person is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree if the person knowingly places a call to a 9-1-1 emergency telephone system without purpose of reporting the need for 9-1-1 service.

Amended 1987, c.6; 1994, c.115; 1996, c.63, s.1; 1999, c.195, s.1; 2002, c.26, s.16.

2C:33-3.1 Penalties for juvenile violating N.J.S. 2C:33-3.

  1. a. In the case of a juvenile adjudicated delinquent for a violation of N.J.S. 2C:33-3 the court shall suspend or postpone the juvenile's right to operate a motor vehicle including a motorized bicycle for a period of six months, in addition to any other disposition ordered by the court under section 24 of P.L. 1982, c.77 (C. 2A: 4A-43). In the case of a person who at the time of the disposition is less than 17 years of age, the period of the suspension of driving privileges authorized herein, including a suspension of the privilege of operating a motorized bicycle, shall commence on the day the disposition is imposed and shall run for a period of six months after the day the person reaches the age of 17 years.

b. In addition to any other sentence imposed by the court under this code, the court shall suspend or postpone a person's right to operate a motor vehicle including a motorized bicycle for any person who is convicted under N.J.S. 2C:33-3 and is less than 21 years of age at the time of the conviction. The period of the suspension of driving privileges authorized herein, including a suspension of the privilege of operating a motorized bicycle, shall commence on the day the sentence is imposed and shall run for a period of six months.

c. If the driving privilege of any person is under revocation, suspension, or postponement for a violation of any provision of this Title or Title 39 of the Revised Statutes at the time of any adjudication of delinquency for a violation of N.J.S. 2C:33-3 or a conviction under N.J.S. 2C:33-3, the revocation, suspension, or postponement period imposed herein shall commence as of the date of termination of the existing revocation, suspension, or postponement.

d. The court before whom any person is convicted or adjudicated delinquent for a violation of N.J.S. 2C:33-3 shall collect forthwith the New Jersey driver's license or licenses of the person and forward such license or licenses to the Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles along with a report indicating the first and last day of the suspension or postponement period imposed by the court pursuant to this section. If the court is for any reason unable to collect the license or licenses of the person, the court shall cause a report of the conviction or adjudication of delinquency to be filed with the director. That report shall include the complete name, address, date of birth, eye color, and sex of the person and shall indicate the first and last day of the suspension or postponement period imposed by the court pursuant to this section. The court shall inform the person orally and in writing that if the person is convicted of personally operating a motor vehicle during the period of license suspension or postponement imposed pursuant to this section the person shall, upon conviction, be subject to the penalties set forth in R.S. 39:3-40. A person shall be required to acknowledge receipt of the written notice in writing. Failure to receive a written notice or failure to acknowledge in writing the receipt of a written notice shall not be a defense to a subsequent charge of violation of R.S. 39:3-40. If the person is the holder of a driver's license from another jurisdiction, the court shall not collect the license but shall notify the director who shall notify the appropriate officials in the licensing jurisdiction. The court shall, however, in accordance with the provisions of this section, revoke the person's non-resident driving privileges in this State.

L.1999, c.195,s.2.

2C:33-3.2 Fines for violation of N.J.S. 2C:33-3.

  1. Any person who violates the provisions of N.J.S. 2C:33-3 shall be liable for a civil penalty of not less than $2,000 or actual costs incurred by or resulting from the law enforcement and emergency services response to the false alarm, whichever is higher. Any monies collected pursuant to this section shall be made payable to the municipality or other entity providing the law enforcement or emergency services response to the false alarm. "Emergency services" includes, but is not limited to, paid or volunteer fire fighters, paramedics, members of an ambulance team, rescue squad or mobile intensive care unit.

L.1999, c.195,s.3; amended 2002, c.26, s.17.

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