2006 Ohio Revised Code - 2917.32. Making false alarms.

§ 2917.32. Making false alarms.
 

(A)  No person shall do any of the following: 

(1) Initiate or circulate a report or warning of an alleged or impending fire, explosion, crime, or other catastrophe, knowing that the report or warning is false and likely to cause public inconvenience or alarm; 

(2) Knowingly cause a false alarm of fire or other emergency to be transmitted to or within any organization, public or private, for dealing with emergencies involving a risk of physical harm to persons or property; 

(3) Report to any law enforcement agency an alleged offense or other incident within its concern, knowing that such offense did not occur. 

(B)  This section does not apply to any person conducting an authorized fire or emergency drill. 

(C) (1)  Whoever violates this section is guilty of making false alarms. 

(2) Except as otherwise provided in division (C)(3), (4), (5), or (6) of this section, making false alarms is a misdemeanor of the first degree. 

(3) Except as otherwise provided in division (C)(4) of this section, if a violation of this section results in economic harm of five hundred dollars or more but less than five thousand dollars, making false alarms is a felony of the fifth degree. 

(4) If a violation of this section pertains to a purported, threatened, or actual use of a weapon of mass destruction, making false alarms is a felony of the third degree. 

(5) If a violation of this section results in economic harm of five thousand dollars or more but less than one hundred thousand dollars and if division (C)(4) of this section does not apply, making false alarms is a felony of the fourth degree. 

(6) If a violation of this section results in economic harm of one hundred thousand dollars or more, making false alarms is a felony of the third degree. 

(D) (1)  It is not a defense to a charge under this section that pertains to a purported or threatened use of a weapon of mass destruction that the offender did not possess or have the ability to use a weapon of mass destruction or that what was represented to be a weapon of mass destruction was not a weapon of mass destruction. 

(2) Any act that is a violation of this section and any other section of the Revised Code may be prosecuted under this section, the other section, or both sections. 

(E)  As used in this section, "economic harm" and "weapon of mass destruction" have the same meanings as in section 2917.31 of the Revised Code. 
 

HISTORY: 134 v H 511 (Eff 1-1-74); 147 v H 182 (Eff 10-1-97); 149 v H 411. Eff 9-27-2002.
 

Not analogous to former RC § 2917.32 (RS § 6918; S&C 430; 29 v 144; GC § 12857; Bureau of Code Revision, 10-1-53), repealed 134 v H 511, § 2, eff 1-1-74.

 

19xx Committee Report or Comment.

1974 Committee Comment to H 511

This section combines elements of two former sections dealing with false alarms and reports, with several modifications. First, unlike former law this section does not require that a false alarm or report be given with intent to mislead or improperly summon the agency to which it is made, nor does it require that the agency called actually take action on the false alarm or report. It is sufficient if the offender knows the alarm or report is false. Second, this section applies to false alarms made to any organization which deals with emergencies, regardless of whether such agency is public or private. Thus, a false alarm of a fire or crime made to security guards at a private plant is an offense under this section. Third, a false alarm made with the knowledge that it is likely to cause public inconvenience or alarm is an offense under this section regardless of to whom it is made. Accordingly, circulating a false report that the dam has broken may be an offense, even though the report is not made to a police or fire department. 

Making false alarms is a misdemeanor of the first degree. 

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