An Illinois man was recently arrested for disorderly conduct when he made a bomb threat. Thankfully, the threat was entirely false. He simply made up a story about having a bomb so the police would not come inside his residence.
Now, this man faces up to five years in prison for making up his threat. But that’s in Illinois. What would have happened if he were in Minnesota? Read on to find out.
Threats of Violence in Minnesota
In Minnesota, making false threats that include bombs could land someone in court on threats of violence charges, also called terroristic threats. And they’re just as serious as they sound.
Our state has three types of acts that can be charged as threats of violence under the law.
The first is when someone threatens, either indirectly or directly, to commit a crime of violence with the purpose of causing evacuation of a building or facility or with the purpose of terrorizing someone else.
The second way someone could be charged with threats of violence is by communicating with someone else to terrorize them with the threat that explosive devices or explosives are at their location. It doesn’t matter if a device is actually present at their location, simply making this threat is a violation of the law.
Lastly, you can be charged with crimes of violence in Minnesota if you exhibit, display, employ, or brandish a firearm in a threatening way and attempt to cause or cause terror in someone else.
Penalties for Threats of Violence in Minnesota
The penalties if found guilty of threats of violence depend on the threat in question. For the first type mentioned above, up to five years in prison can be sentenced, as well as fines of up to $10,000.
For the second type, as many as three years in prison can be sentenced, along with an order to pay as much as $3,000 in fines.
For the final type, a person can face up to 12 months in prison and be responsible for fines for as much as $3,000. All of these crimes are felonies.
Tampering with an Alarm System
You may also find that a false alarm scenario could get you accused of making a false fire alarm. This may seem like a harmless prank, but it has both misdemeanor and felony consequences.
Anyone who intentionally provides a false alarm of a fire, pulls a fire alarm when there is no fire, or tampers with an alarm system in some way can face misdemeanor charges. If you are found guilty of tampering with a fire alarm and creating a situation where someone is harmed, then it is a felony. This is punishable by as much as five years in prison and fines up to $10,000.
Sometimes situations can occur that get you in over your head. Just as with the man in Illinois, who was trying to distract police from coming into his home by issuing a bomb threat, things can quickly get out of hand. Understanding the law is crucial to keeping yourself out of prison and knowing your rights every step of the way.
About the Author:
Christopher Keyser is an AV-Preeminent rated criminal and DWI defense attorney based in Minneapolis who is known for fighting aggressively for his clients and utilizing innovative tactics to get the most positive results. He has been featured in numerous media outlets due to the breadth and depth of his knowledge and named a Certified Specialist in Criminal Law by the Minnesota Bar Association. Mr. Keyser is Lead Counsel rated, and he has received recognition for his criminal law work from Avvo, Expertise, Super Lawyers, The National Trial Lawyers, and more.