QUESTION:

My cousin has been calling the police everyday for the past week claiming that a neighbor of mine are using drugs. The police have arrived 3 times to talk with my neighbor and informed him that my relative was the one calling. My neighbor has asked me to talk with my cousin to stop the calls but I’m not on speaking terms with him. My question is will my cousin get in trouble for calling the police everyday? His wife has also called the police and is using my mothers name? Is that illegal?

ANSWER:

The short version is that each false call placed to 911 can theoretically be punished by 180 days in the county jail.

Penal Code Section 148.5(c): Except as provided in subdivisions (a) and (b), every person who reports to any employee who is assigned to accept reports from citizens, either directly or by telephone, and who is employed by a state or local agency which is designated in Section 830.1, 830.2, subdivision (e) of Section 830.3, Section 830.31, 830.32, 830.33, 830.34, 830.35, 830.36, 830.37, or 830.4, that a felony or misdemeanor has been committed, knowing the report to be false, is guilty of a misdemeanor if (1) the false information is given while the employee is engaged in the performance of his or her duties as an agency employee and (2) the person providing the false information knows or should have known that the person receiving the information is an agency employee engaged in the performance of the duties described in this subdivision.

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