A Union County teenager admitted in September to faking her own kidnapping and using social media to make investigators believe that she was actually abducted. She pleaded guilty to third degree charges for creating a false public alarm and fourth degree charges of making false reports. According to the Union County prosecutor, she’ll be sentenced to 12 months probation, a six month license suspension, and $2,000 in restitution. She was also ordered to complete 40 hours of community service at the Elizabeth Police and Fire Departments in order to gain appreciation for these agencies and learn how they’re affected by false reports.
Creating a false public alarm is a third degree offense punishable by 3-5 years imprisonment when a person initiates a report or warning of an impending crime or disaster, all while knowing that the report or warning is false and that it’s likely to generate public inconvenience or alarm. The offense can be upgraded to a second degree charge carrying a penalty of up to 10 years in jail if the person plants a fake bomb or if serious bodily injury occurs as a result of the false public alarm.
New Jersey law also makes it a fourth degree crime to either falsely incriminate another person or to make fictitious reports to law enforcement. As in this case, the offenses of false public alarm and making false reports often overlap.
If you’re facing criminal charges in Union County, call me, Anthony N. Palumbo, N.J. Defense Attorney, at 908-337-7353. I’ve been representing clients in criminal cases for more than 30 years and I’ve built strong working relationships with many local police officers, prosecutors, and judges. Call today to schedule a free consultation and find out how my experience and reputation can serve as an advantage in your case.
Union County Criminal Defense Lawyer Anthony N. Palumbo