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California Department of Motor Vehicles
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Penal Code

False "Emergency" Reports

148.3.  (a) Any individual who reports, or causes any report to be made, to any city, county, city and county, or state department, district, agency, division, commission, or board, that an “emergency” exists, knowing that the report is false, is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for a period not exceeding one year, or by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine.

(b) Any individual who reports, or causes any report to be made, to any city, county, city and county, or state department, district, agency, division, commission, or board, that an “emergency” exists, and who knows that the report is false, and who knows or should know that the response to the report is likely to cause death or great bodily injury, and great bodily injury or death is sustained by any person as a result of the false report, is guilty of a felony and upon conviction thereof shall be punishable by imprisonment in the state prison, or by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine.

(c) “Emergency” as used in this section means any condition which results in, or which could result in, the response of a public official in an authorized emergency vehicle, aircraft, or vessel, or any condition which jeopardizes or could jeopardize public safety and results in, or could result in, the evacuation of any area, building, structure, vehicle, or of any other place which any individual may enter.

(Amended Sec. 1, Ch. 521, Stats. 2002. Effective January 1, 2003.)