If you’re like most people, you’ve heard that pulling a fire alarm when there’s no fire is a crime – but can you go to jail over it? This guide explains whether you can go to jail for pulling a fire alarm (and what other seemingly minor crimes could put you behind bars).
Can You Go to Jail for Pulling a Fire Alarm?
In the state of Illinois, pulling a fire alarm when there’s no fire falls under disorderly conduct. Because disorderly conduct is a crime, you can go to jail for it. In fact, the law says “A person commits disorderly conduct when he or she knowingly… transmits or causes to be transmitted in any manner to the fire department of any city, town, village or fire protection district a false alarm of fire, knowing at the time of the transmission that there is no reasonable ground for believing that the fire exists…”
Pulling a fire alarm when there’s no fire is a Class 4 felony, so it’s a pretty serious crime. In fact, if the court finds you guilty, you could spend up to 3 years in prison. (Other types of disorderly conduct don’t have near that possible penalty, such as disturbing the peace, while others, like calling in a bomb threat, are much more severe.)
Related: Disorderly conduct punishments
What to Do if You’re Charged With Disorderly Conduct for Pulling a Fire Alarm
If you’re charged with disorderly conduct for pulling a fire alarm – whether you’re innocent or guilty – you probably need to talk to an attorney to get legal guidance. The attorney you talk to will ask you questions about the alleged incident and develop a strategy that helps you move forward.
Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney?
If you’ve been accused of a crime, we may be able to help you – and don’t worry: It’s completely confidential. Call us at 847-920-4540 or fill out the form below to schedule your free, private consultation with an experienced and skilled Chicago criminal defense attorney now.