The police in West Lampeter Township are looking for a man who robbed a local bank in mid-March. The man visited the bank and pulled up to the drive-thru window. Once facing a teller, he handed them a note that stated he had a bomb and demanded money. He left with an undisclosed amount of money.
Not all bomb threats are so dramatic. Sometimes, they are done as pranks or for seemingly innocent reasons, such as a student wanting to avoid a test at school. However, regardless of the reason, bomb threats are taken very seriously under state and federal law. Anyone who is convicted of making one will face very harsh penalties.
The Authorities Investigate Bomb Threats Extensively
In the majority of cases, when a bomb threat is made, it is a hoax. Unfortunately, the rare few that are not give cause for all bomb threats to be taken very seriously. When a bomb threat is made, a number of government agencies may investigate it, depending on the creditably of the threat and the entity that was threatened. Bomb threats may be investigated by:
- The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
- The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF)
- The Department of Homeland Security
- The Secret Service
When any one of the above government agencies investigates a bomb threat, they expend a considerable amount of resources, including man power, on the investigation. As such, even when a bomb threat is a hoax, the person who made it will face very serious consequences.
The Penalties for Making a Bomb Threat
The penalties for making a bomb threat vary greatly, as they will depend on the circumstances surrounding the threat. In Pennsylvania a person could face misdemeanor charges, but a felony charge is much more likely after a bomb threat is made. A conviction for a felony will result in multiple years in prison, high fines, and a permanent criminal record for the accused. If an actual device is used, or a device made to resemble a bomb, the offense will likely be upgraded to a more serious charge. A person could even face multiple counts of attempted murder.
On a federal level, people often face terrorism charges after they are accused of making a bomb threat. In some cases, a person may not only have to pay high fines, but also reimburse government agencies that spent resources on investigating the bomb threat. Any penalty faced after a person is convicted of making a bomb threat will be very serious. Anyone charged should speak to an Allentown criminal defense lawyer.
Our Criminal Defense Lawyer in Allentown Can Help with Your Case
Not everyone that is charged with making a bomb threat is guilty. Due to the fact that many times, the perpetrator is not seen at the time the threat was made, mistaken identity is all too common. If you have been charged, call our Allentown criminal defense lawyer at van der Veen, Hartshorn & Levin today so we can get started on your case. Call us now at 215-515-6892 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.