Trial lawyers understand that adjournments and re-scheduling of motions, trials and the like are part of everyday life in the courthouse. And we’ve heard of people going to great lengths to put off their hearings and court appearances to another day. But a couple from Yuma allegedly went just a bit overboard in their quest for an adjournment of a case last Friday.
According to police, the couple were scheduled to appear at the Yuma County Juvenile Justice Center (YCJJC) for a hearing related to custody, and wanted to delay it. Ordinarily, we would expect this to lead to a request to the judge or the court clerk, with perhaps an exaggerated explanation of why the adjournment was necessary. Assuming the accuracy of the police report, this couple was apparently unwilling to go the traditional route. Instead, it is alleged that they called in a bomb threat to the YCJJC.
Well, the strategy worked. The building was evacuated, and police searched in vain for the suspected device, but no bomb was found, and no injuries took place. In addition, no hearing took place on Friday in the couple’s case, and police say they admitted to the scheme to delay it.
The upshot of the bomb threat was that the duo were charged with two offenses:
- The first involves the creation of a “hoax” under A.R.S. 13-2925. The statute says that it is unlawful for anyone to intentionally create a false impression of an act of terrorism (which includes, among other things, felonies involving weapons of mass destruction) which would reasonably be expected to cause an emergency response. The offense is a class 4 felony.
- Second, they are charged with a violation of A.R.S. 13-2916, which prohibits using an electronic communication to threaten to inflict physical harm on another person or persons. Electronic communications include telephone calls. The offense is a class 1 misdemeanor.
All in all, the couple does appear to have gone way too far in their quest to put the hearing off to another day. The reports suggest that they will now have a series of additional hearings to attend to respond to the criminal charges they racked up.
Law Offices of David A. Black
40 North Central Avenue #1850
Phoenix, AZ 85004