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Question #37676 posted on 07/17/2007 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What are the civil penalties for pretending there is an emergency of some sort?

For example, would you get in trouble with the law if you called a friend and said that someone was seriously injured and needed a ride to the hospital, and while on the way to the hospital, they reveal that it was all a joke?

Are we talking jail time? A hefty fine? Nothing?

- Crazy Child

A: Dear Crazy Child,

Depends. If you're just planning on telling the friend there's an emergency and not actually involving any emergency personnel, you're probably just going to end up with a mad friend. Hypothetically though, the friend could decide go to the police about the false alarm, they'd file a report, and the city/state could file charges. I know it sounds trivial but they really could.

And if they do file charges, Making a False Alarm is a class B misdemeanor and you're talking 180 days in the Utah County Jail and/or $1,000 fine. Plus, if convicted, you'd be ordered to reimburse "any federal, state, or local government, or any private business, organization, individual, or entity for all the expenses and losses incurred in responding to the violation" (Utah Code Annotated, Section 76-9-105).

By the way, if you were to call 911 for that, you for sure would would be prosecuted.

- Lavish