Earlier this week, the Naval base in San Diego received a phone call that specifically threatened one of the buildings on the base. Around 9:15am, someone called in and threatened to bomb Building 36. Around 9:15am, the base posted on its Facebook page that the area had been secured, meaning they did not find evidence of bomb(s). There was a perimeter set up between Pier 3 and Pier 5.
This is the second threat at Naval Base San Diego within two weeks. Previously, a hand-written note sparked an investigation and the evacuation of the pier at 32nd Street and Harbor Drive.
The base is currently not on lockdown. Now the Navy is offering a $5,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest of the person who made the fake bomb threat. A spokesperson for the Navy stated that since last November, 11 fake bomb threats have been made.
Making a Bomb Threat in California
The charges that come with making a bomb threat are not mutually exclusive from terrorist charges, although technically terroristic threats and bomb threats are covered by different statutes in California.
CA Penal Code § 422 specifically addresses terrorist threats in the State of California. To be convicted of making terroristic threats, prosecution must show that you threatened to kill or cause significant bodily injury. However, the statute requires the threat to be intentional and deliberate. Misconstrued or misinterpreted actions (i.e. making a clock, not a bomb) are not threats. In California, terrorist threats can be charged as misdemeanor or felony offenses depending on the severity of the threat.
Under CA Penal Code § 148.1, anybody falsely reporting a bomb placed in a public or private place may be accused making a bomb threat. These threats can be verbal or by mail, email, texting, or phone to a government official, publicly on an online forum, to a reporter, etc. In order to be convicted under § 148.1, it must be shown that you intended to threatened the safety or scare others. As such, anyone who makes a fake bomb report or threat, may still be liable under CA Penal Code § 422 for terroristic threats. Making a false bomb threat/report is a crime punishable by one year imprisonment.
Real bomb threats, however, are violations of federal law which are punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment – far stiffer than any state penalty.
San Diego Criminal Threats, Terroristic Threat, and Bomb Threat Defense Lawyer
Law enforcement, schools, airports, and government officials take bomb threats or any threats against the public safety very seriously, even if you meant it as a joke. Police will not hesitate to charge you with a terroristic threat, even if you did not intend to carry out the threat. At the Law Offices of David M. Boertje, we understand that people make mistakes and sometimes things are simply taken out of context. If you have been falsely accused of making a terroristic threat, contact the Law Offices of David M. Boertje today.