California Laws Changing to Prosecute False 911 Calls As Hate Crimes
Oct 28, 2020
We have all seen the videos and heard the recordings of people who were caught saying or doing something the public sees as racist. Many of these individuals are not only shamed and embarrassed, but they can lose their careers and personal relationships based upon their behavior.
But what happens if someone accuses you of a crime that you didn't commit because of their racial biases? What if there is no video to prove your innocence?
Many states have enacted laws that punish 911 callers who are racially motivated to call on someone who is not actually breaking the law. It is a waste of time and money as well as potentially dangerous for the accused.
San Francisco recently passed the CAREN Act that allows a person to civilly sue a 911 caller who falsely accuses them of a crime because of their race and many cities and states will soon follow. The Caution Against Racially Exploitative Non-Emergencies Act would enable the person subjected to the racially biased call, able to sue for damages.
Police responses to these accusations have a possibility to get violent and swatting has become a serious and deadly issue that happens more than you would think. Swatting is when a person calls 911 pretending to be someone else and gives them a fictitious and violent story that causes the police to surround an innocent person, in their home, for example, and prepare for a violent confrontation.
Innocent people can easily be killed in these tense situations and California is considering designating these calls as hate crimes, so they can prosecute the crime further than they are allowed to do today.
Fresno has laws against making false reports to authorities. It is a misdemeanor charge, Penal Code 148.5, that could land a person in jail with a hefty fine they must pay when they get out. The public will know who they are and a conviction can lead to further social and personal problems that they don't expect.
Witnesses can be especially important in these situations; especially, if a video is unavailable. 911 calls can be critical evidence, as they often contain the substance of the accusation that should be reviewed.
If you’ve been accused of a crime in this area, you speak to an experienced criminal lawyer who can help you sort out the truth.
Let Mitchell Law Group help you sort out the problem. We will investigate the charges and help you defend yourself again baseless claims and accusations. Contact us to schedule your initial interview and to begin your defense.
Michael Mitchell is a Fresno attorney who practices in the areas of DUI, personal injury & criminal law. Visit his Google+ profile.