Is It A Crime To Make A Bomb Threat In Maryland?
Most of us are familiar with a prankster who pulls a file alarm. In post-911 Maryland, this conduct is not viewed as harmless fun. Section 9-504 of the Criminal Law Article makes it a crime to
- circulate or
- transmit to another
“with intent that it be acted on, a statement or rumor that the person knows to be false about the location or possible detonation of a destructive device”. The law defines destructive device as “an explosive material, incendiary material, or toxic material that is: combined with a delivery or detonating apparatus so as to be capable of inflicting injury to persons or damage to property; or deliberately modified, containerized, or otherwise equipped with a special delivery, activation, or detonation component that gives the material destructive characteristics of a military ordnance”: Included within the definition are:
- poison gas
- Molotov cocktail
- pipe bomb, and
- petroleum-soaked ammonium nitrate
The offense is punishable by 10 years in prison, and a fine. A person convicted is also responsible for restitution for lost goods or other damages. A minor charged with a delinquent act under this provision also stands to lose their driver’s license for 6 months.