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A criminal defense for a stupid mistake

Young people make mistakes, a fact that is both the subject of common knowledge and scientific research. While some of those mistakes have serious repercussions, others are simply foolish in nature and are more of a nuisance than a danger. Such may be the case in New Jersey, where a young man will present a criminal defense to allegations that he called in a series of false emergency alarms.

The young man, who is just 18 years of age, had been working as a volunteer firefighter in Piscataway, New Jersey, since the beginning of summer. In an effort to see some action, he is alleged to have called in multiple false alarms to 911 dispatch. Authorities believe that he called in a total of 14 false alarms over an unspecified period of time.

It is believed that he made those calls in order to gain experience as a firefighter. When an alarm is called in, emergency responders are expected to travel to the scene and assess conditions. As a probationary firefighter, the young man needed experience in order to move up within the organization.

No one would argue that calling in false alarms is an inappropriate way to gain experience as an emergency responder. If this young New Jersey man did in fact make false reports to 911, he likely did so using the same lack of judgment that plagues many as young adults. Hopefully, his criminal defense efforts will convince the court to issue a ruling that will allow him to pursue a career in public service, which is clearly a passion of his.

Source:, "New Jersey volunteer firefighter charged with calling in false alarms", Carolina Leid, Aug. 26, 2015