Making a false alarm or report is a crime in Texas. According to 42.06 of the Texas Penal Code, this offense is committed if a person knowingly initiates, communicates or circulates a report of a present, past or future bombing, fire, offense or other emergency that he or she knows is false or baseless and that would ordinarily:
(1) cause action by an official or volunteer agency organized to deal with emergencies;
(2) place a person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury; or
(3) prevents or interrupt the occupation of a building, room, place of assembly, place to which the public has access, or aircraft, automobile or other mode of conveyance.
What is the punishment for making a false report or alarm?
The severity of the punishment for making a false report or alarm depends on where the false alarm is reported to have occurred, not the location of the actor. If the false report involves a public or private institution of higher education or involves a public primary or secondary school, public communications, public transportation, public water, gas or power supply or other public service, the offense is a state jail felony, punishable from six month to two years in a state jail facility and up to a $10,000 fine.
If the alarm or false report involves any other location, it is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and up to a $4,000 fine. For example, pulling a fire alarm in a high school or calling in a false bomb threat at a university would likely be punished as a state jail felony.
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