Bombs are some of the most terrifying weapons. Whether they’re explosive or incendiary in nature, bombs can cause both property damage and injuries – even death. The mere threat of an explosive device can also be very dangerous on its own, causing people to panic and rush out of the allegedly affected area and potentially injuring each other in the chaos.
Since the presence of a bomb can incite fear and anxiety, the government and peace officers treat all threats seriously, including hoaxes. Just because someone planted a fake explosive that can’t cause any injuries, it doesn’t mean they can get away with their prank scot-free.
It’s a crime to place a fake bomb in any public space in New York. No matter how harmless the fake explosive is, the offense is a felony that leads to severe punishment.
Multiple degrees for the crime of placing fake bombs
There are three criminal degrees for the offense of placing a fake explosive:
- Placing a false bomb in the second degree: This is the offense if a person places a fake bomb or device that appears to be an explosive to cause public alarm or inconvenience.
- Placing a false bomb in the first degree: A person commits this offense if they place a fake bomb on school grounds, in a public building or any other public place (like a park).
- Placing a false bomb in a sports stadium, arena, mass transportation facility or enclosed shopping mall: This is a separate offense for hoax explosives planted in locations where a real bomb would’ve caused massive property damage and multiple injuries.
These offenses are all felonies, carrying harsh penalties on conviction.
The penalties for placing a fake bomb
Placing a false bomb in the second degree is a Class E felony. The penalties on conviction include up to five years in prison and $5,000 in fines.
Meanwhile, the offense of placing a false bomb in the first degree is a Class D felony. The convicted faces up to seven years of prison and $5,000 in fines.
Those charged with placing a false bomb in a sports stadium, arena, mass transportation facility or enclosed shopping mall also face a Class D felony – and with it, the corresponding penalties on conviction.
Bomb pranks are dangerous, so officials won’t hesitate to prosecute anyone caught doing them. The offense is also a felony – whether the “explosive” is placed in a dense public space or not. Anyone who thinks such a cruel joke is a good idea should reconsider because a court can sentence them to years of prison.