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Making a Bomb Threat: What Can Happen?

What can happen to a person who makes a bomb threat?

Bomb threats are taken very seriously by local and federal law enforcement, as San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith learned Sunday. Smith was arrested after allegedly making a false bomb threat during a dispute at Los Angeles International Airport.

Responding to a fake bomb threat is costly to law enforcement, and the legal system doesn't look too kindly upon it either. Here's what state and federal laws say can potentially happen to anyone who makes a bomb threat:

Was Jewish Center Shooting a Hate Crime?

The suspect of Jewish center shooting in Kansas has been charged with premeditated murder, but some groups believe that the killings were hate crimes.

Frazier Glenn Cross, 73, is accused of going on a shooting spree at a Jewish community center and nearby Jewish retirement home in Overland Park, Kansas. A 14-year-old boy, his grandfather, and an unrelated woman were killed, according to Reuters.

Cross allegedly has a long history of racism and anti-Semitism, but police say it's too early to determine if the killings were motivated by those factors.

Are There Defenses to Criminal Trespassing?

You can be charged with criminal trespassing when you enter someone else's land or use someone else's chattel without permission or authorization.

Police officers, sheriffs, and even park rangers typically enforce criminal trespass law. But there are a few situations in which trespassing charges may be dropped against a defendant.

Here are a few common defenses to trespassing:

Drunken driving crashes can often be fatal, elevating a simple DUI to a full-blown murder charge.

Case in point: A drunken driver in Colorado accused of killing a 17-year-old boy in an accident Monday is now facing a first-degree murder charge for his alleged actions, reports The Denver Post. Ever Olivos-Gutierrez, 40, lacks a drivers license and has incurred "numerous" DUIs prior to Monday's fatal crash.

So when can a DUI be charged as murder?

When can teenagers be tried as adults?

Teens are often responsible for serious crimes, and in many cases they can face the same punishments as adults.

The decision to try a teen as an adult varies by state, but generally each state considers the following factors:

A Colorado court has clarified that the state's new marijuana law can apply retroactively to some marijuana convictions.

In a decision released Thursday, the Colorado Court of Appeals announced that Amendment 64, which legalized recreational marijuana in the state, could be used to challenge old drug offenses -- as long as the cases were already being appealed when the law took effect, reports The New York Times.

What does this mean for those who've been convicted of marijuana offenses in Colorado?

Military sexual assault reform took a major blow Thursday, as the U.S. Senate voted down a bill designed to overhaul the way the military handles sexual assault cases.

The bill sought to give power to prosecute military sex assault cases to an independent military prosecutor rather than high ranking officers, but it failed to get the 60 votes necessary to avoid being thrown out, reports Reuters.

What else might this bill have changed in military sexual assault cases?

The D.C. Council voted to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use on Tuesday, leaving the mayor to sign the bill into law.

If approved by Mayor Vincent Gray, the pot bill will have to weather a congressional review period before going into effect. But according to Washington's WRC-TV, Congress has "rarely used" its powers to veto D.C. laws.

But with legal pot possession on the line, the odds seem hardly relevant.

Is Cyberbullying a Crime? What Can Victims Do?

A 17-year-old North Carolina is facing cyberbullying charges after posting a nude photo of a 15-year-old girl to Instagram, CNN reports. The incident raises the question: Just when does cyberbullying turn criminal?

Here's an overview of cyberbullying statutes and what you can do when confronted by cyberbullying:

Because of the Brady gun law, which went into effect 20 years ago this week, background checks are typically necessary for a civilian to purchase a firearm from a licensed dealer.

Although some states will have different procedures with regard to gun background checks, the NICS system is the standard in all states and is often administered by the FBI.

What does an NICS background check entail?