The SWAT (or Special Weapons and Tactics) team is an elite unit of the police designed to deal with particularly dangerous situations. While this special team can help resolve some particularly deadly situations, they can also escalate certain situations when their presence isn’t actually necessary, which is why some internet users have made a game of calling in fake emergencies that would require the SWAT team. Because these situations can sometimes become dangerous or even deadly, this practice, commonly called “swatting” is a crime in California. Anyone accused of swatting needs to contact a San Diego internet crimes lawyer as soon as possible.
More Than Just False Reporting
Most people know that falsely accusing someone of a crime is a crime in itself, but swatting is a far more serious crime than that. In fact, since getting a SWAT team to report to a non-existent situation requires making up a dangerous scenario such as a bomb threat, most people accused of swatting can also face charges for the false report of an emergency. These are serious charges and if you have been accused of such a crime, you should never speak to the police without your San Diego juvenile defense attorney present.
Potential Penalties for Swatting
Falsely reporting a crime is a misdemeanor as are most cases of falsely reporting an emergency. These are both punishable by one year in jail. However if someone was injured or killed as a result of the prank, falsely reporting an emergency charges can be a felony charge punishable by up to three years in prison. Additionally, those convicted of swatting can be forced to reimburse the city for the cost of reporting to the scene, at up to $10,000 per incident.
You can fight these charges with the help of a top San Diego computer crimes lawyer, but it is critical you call as soon as you believe you are under investigation. Remember that anything you say to the police can be used as evidence as well as anything you typed online. A good attorney can protect you from saying things that might hurt your defense and ensure that any search and seizure of your electronic devices was performed legally.
If you have been accused of swatting, contact a San Diego attorney with experience in computer crime defense as soon as possible. You can schedule a free initial consultation with Peter M. Liss by calling (760) 643-4050 or (858) 486-3024.
Image by Norbu Gyachung