The Illinois crime of Falsely Making a Terrorist Threat is defined in 720 ILCS 5/29D-25 as follows:
(a) A person commits the offense of falsely making a terrorist threat when in any manner he or she knowingly makes a threat to commit or cause to be committed a terrorist act as defined in Section 29D-10(1) or otherwise knowingly creates the impression or belief that a terrorist act is about to be or has been committed, or in any manner knowingly makes a threat to commit or cause to be committed a catastrophe as defined in Section 29D-15.1 (720 ILCS 5/29D-15.1) of this Code that he or she knows is false.
(b) Sentence. Falsely making a terrorist threat is a Class 1 felony.
(c) In addition to any other sentence that may be imposed, the court shall order any person convicted of falsely making a terrorist threat, involving a threat that a bomb or explosive device has been placed in a school in which the offender knows that such bomb or explosive device was not placed in the school, to reimburse the unit of government that employs the emergency response officer or officers that were dispatched to the school for the cost of the search for a bomb or explosive device. For the purposes of this Section, “emergency response” means any incident requiring a response by a police officer, a firefighter, a State Fire Marshal employee, or an ambulance.
Those convicted of Falsely Making a Terrorist Threat in Illinois face a prison sentence of 4-15 years, as the charge is a Class 1 felony. In addition to that prison term, a person who is convicted of Falsely Making a Terrorist Threat can be ordered to pay the costs of responding to the false threat.
Many people in Illinois are charged with Falsely Making a Terrorist Threat after they make a “hoax” or “prank” threat against a school. Sometimes their motivation for doing so is that they view the matter as a joke, or wish to avoid taking a test at school. Regardless, Illinois law treats such threats as very serious criminal matters and as such a person who is accused of Falsely Making a Terrorist Threat in Illinois should seek an attorney at once.