FALSE PUBLIC ALARMS(N.J.S.A. 2C:33‑3)model jury charge in NJ
The indictment charges the defendant with a violation of a provision of our criminal law which reads in pertinent part:
A person is guilty of a crime if he initiates or circulates a report or warning of an impending fire, explosion, bombing, crime, catastrophe or emergency, knowing that the report or warning is false or baseless and that it is likely to cause evacuation of a building, place of assembly or facility of public transport, or to cause public inconveniences or alarm.
In order for the defendant to be guilty of this offense, the State must prove all the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
(1)The State must first prove that the defendant knowingly initiated or circulated a report or warning of an impending fire, or explosion, or bombing, or crime, or catastrophe, or emergency (charge the applicable warning).
(2)The State must next prove that the defendant knew that the report or warning thathe/sheinitiated or circulated was false or baseless.
To be done knowingly means a person acts knowingly with respect to the nature ofhis/herconduct or the attendant circumstances ifhe/sheis aware thathis/herconduct is of that nature, or that such circumstances exist, orhe/sheis aware of a high probability of their existence.A person acts knowingly with respect to a result ofhis/herconduct ifhe/sheis aware that it is practically certain thathis/herconduct will cause such a result.
(3)The State must also prove that the defendant knew the false or baseless report or warning initiated or circulated byhim/herwas likely to cause the evacuation of a building, or a place of assembly, or a facility of public transport, or to cause public inconvenience or alarm (charge the appropriate alternative).
It is not necessary that, in fact, a building, or a place of public assembly, or a facility of public transport was evacuated or that a public inconvenience or alarm actually occurred.It is only necessary that the State prove that the report or warning was false or baseless, which merely means untrue, and that the defendant knew that it was false, baseless or untrue and knew that the report or warning was likely to cause the result that has just been described.
If you determine that the State has proved all of these elements beyond a reasonable doubt, then you should find the defendant guilty.But if you have a reasonable doubt as to one or more of these elements, you should findhim/hernot guilty.
NOTE:Re: N.J.S.A. 2C:33‑3,Causing Evacuation of Building, etc.
The manner in which the report or warning is initiated or circulated under the statute must be scrutinized carefully by the Court so as not to run afoul of the United States Constitution.InState v. Profaci, 56N.J. 346, 266A.2d 597 (1970), it was held that the mere uttering of offensive or profane or indecent language is not an offense.It is necessary that the language be spoken loudly in a public place and must be of such a nature as to be likely to incite the hearer to immediate breach of the peace or to be likely, in light of the gender and age of the listener and the setting of the utterance, to affect the sensibilities of the hearer.Accordingly, it is thought that the report or warning, whether it be written or oral, must be of the nature to be communicated to another in the described illicit fashion.When words, whether written or verbal, are labeled criminal, the court must become involved in a balancing before submitting the case to a jury.
In determining whether the report or warning is false, it is submitted that the jury must find that the report or warning is objectively untrue, incorrect or erroneous, and that the defendant knew it to be so.In a malicious prosecution action inDombrowski v. Met. Life Ins. Co., 126N.J.L. 545 19A.2d 678 (E & A, 1941), the Court said The word false in juristic uses frequently implies something is more than a mere untruth . . . The adverb falsely is defined inWebsters New International Dictionaryas in a false manner; erroneously; not truly; perfidiously; or treacherously. It is thought that it is enough that the report or warning was objectively untrue when the defendant knew it to be so, and said report or warning had the capacity to be communicated to a third person and cause the consequences referred to in the statute.
| Consequences of a Criminal Guilty Plea|
1. You will have to appear in open court and tell the judge what you did that makes you guilty of the particular offense(s)
2. Do you understand that if you plead guilty:
a. You will have a criminal record3. If you are on Probation, you will have to submit to random drug and urine testing. If you violate Probation, you often go to jail.
4. In indictable matters, you will be required to provide a DNA sample, which could be used by law enforcement for the investigation of criminal activity, and pay for the cost of testing.
5. You must pay restitution if the court finds there is a victim who has suffered a loss and if the court finds that you are able or will be able in the future to pay restitution.
6. If you are a public office holder or employee, you can be required to forfeit your office or job by virtue of your plea of guilty.
7. If you are not a United States citizen or national, you may be deported by virtue of your plea of guilty.
8. You must wait 5-10 years to expunge a first offense. 2C:52-3
9. You could be put on Probation.
10. In Drug Cases, a mandatory DEDR penalty of $500-$1,000, and lose your drivers license for 6 months - 2 years. You must pay a Law Enforcement Officers Training and Equipment Fund penalty of $30.
11. You may be required to do Community Service.
12. You must pay a minimum Violent Crimes Compensation Board assessment of $50 ($100 minimum if you are convicted of a crime of violence) for each count to which you plead guilty.
13. You must pay a $75 Safe Neighborhood Services Fund assessment for each conviction.
14. If you are being sentenced to probation, you must pay a fee of up to $25 per month for the term of probation.
15. You lose the presumption against incarceration in future cases. 2C:44-1
16. You may lose your right to vote.
The defense of a person charged with a criminal offense is not impossible. There are a number of viable defenses and arguments which can be pursued to achieve a successful result. Advocacy, commitment, and persistence are essential to defending a client accused of a criminal offense.
Jail for Crimes and Disorderly Conduct:
If someone pleads Guilty or is found Guilty of a criminal offense, the following is the statutory Prison/Jail terms.
NJSA 2C: 43-8 (1) In the case of a crime of the first degree, for a specific term of years which shall be fixed by the court and shall be between 10 years and 20 years;
(2) In the case of a crime of the second degree, for a specific term of years which shall be fixed by the court and shall be between five years and 10 years;
(3) In the case of a crime of the third degree, for a specific term of years which shall be fixed by the court and shall be between three years and five years;
(4) In the case of a crime of the fourth degree, for a specific term which shall be fixed by the court and shall not exceed 18 months.
2C:43-3 Fines have been increased recently! 2C:43-3. Fines and Restitutions. A person who has been convicted of an offense may be sentenced to pay a fine, to make restitution, or both, such fine not to exceed:
a. (1) $200,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the first degree;
(2) $150,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the second degree;
b. (1) $15,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the third degree;
(2) $10,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the fourth degree;
c. $1,000.00, when the conviction is of a disorderly persons offense;
d. $500.00, when the conviction is of a petty disorderly persons offense;
If facing any criminal charge, retain an experienced attorney immediately to determine you rights and obligations to the court. Current criminal charge researched by Kenneth Vercammen, Esq. 732-572-0500