Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024

(a) As used in this Code section, the term: (1) Critical infrastructure means any building, place of assembly, or facility that is located in this state and necessary for national or public security, education, or public safety. (2) Destructive device means a destructive device as such term is defined by Code Section 16-7-80. (3) Hazardous substance means a hazardous substance as such term is defined by Code Section 12-8-92. (4) Public agency means the state and any city, county, city and county, municipal corporation, chartered organization, public district, or public authority located in whole or in part within this state which provides or has authority to provide fire-fighting, law enforcement, ambulance, medical, or other emergency services. (5) Public safety agency means a functional division of a public agency which provides fire-fighting, law enforcement, emergency medical, suicide prevention, emergency management dispatching, poison control, drug prevention, child abuse, spouse abuse, or other emergency services. (6) Request for emergency services assistance means a report, transmission, or request for assistance to a public safety agency, or to another person knowing at the time of such report, transmission, or request that such report, transmission, or request is likely to result in such other person making a report, transmission, or request to a public safety agency, through a public safety answering point or other form of communication.

(b) A person commits the offense of making an unlawful request for emergency services assistance when he or she knowingly and intentionally transmits in any manner a request for emergency services assistance knowing at the time of the request for emergency services assistance that there is no reasonable ground for believing the truth of information which forms the basis of such request and when the request involves or relates to: (1) A purported destructive device or hazardous substance located in such a place that its explosion, detonation, or release would endanger human life or cause injury or damage to property; (2) An individual who purportedly has caused or threatened to cause physical harm to himself or herself or another individual by using a deadly weapon or with any object, device, or instrument which, when used offensively against a person, is likely to result in serious bodily injury; (3) An individual who purportedly has committed a criminal act involving the use or threat of physical force or violence or an act constituting an immediate threat to any person’s life or safety; or (4) The use of any electronic device or software to alter, conceal, or disguise, or attempt to alter, conceal, or disguise, the location or identity of the person making the request.

(c)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, a person convicted of a violation of subsection (b) of this Code section shall be punished as for a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature and upon conviction for a second or subsequent violation of subsection (b) of this Code section shall be guilty of a felony and punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years, by a fine of not less than $5,000.00, or both. (2)(A) If the location of the violation of paragraph (1) of subsection (b) of this Code section is critical infrastructure, such person shall be guilty of a felony and upon conviction shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than five nor more than ten years, a fine of not more than $100,000.00, or both. (B) If serious bodily harm or death results from the response of a public safety agency, such person shall be guilty of a felony and upon conviction shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years and a fine of not less than $5,000.00.

(d) In addition to any other penalty imposed by law for a violation of this Code section, the court may require the defendant to make restitution to any affected public or private entity for the reasonable costs or damages associated with the offense, including, without limitation, the actual value of any goods, services, or income lost as a result of such violation. Restitution made pursuant to this subsection shall not preclude any party from obtaining any other civil or criminal remedy available under any other provision of law. The restitution authorized by this subsection is supplemental and not exclusive.