Skip to content

Can you get in trouble for calling the police for no reason?

Can you get in trouble for calling the police for no reason?

Can you get in trouble for calling the police for no reason?

What should be done if someone calls the police on you when you did not actually commit a crime? Be very careful. Cooperate, but do not volunteer any information. If they threaten to take you to the station, ask if you are under arrest; if they say no, terminate the interview.

In police parlance, there is a term called PPW…the practical police working. In theory or legally speaking, police can’t call a person without any notice.bthe notice has to be in writing. But unde PPW, you will find people called on phone to report at police station or being called thru beat constable to come and meet officer. You can decline to come unless a notice is given but majority of people avoid annoying police and come to police station.

When I was an officer in Stanton, we had an older lady who called because she was lonely and wanted to talk to someone, and several times, we’d have an officer roll by to see if she was OK and to let her know we cared about how she was doing. I got irritated a couple of times because I was of the opinion she was taking time away from someone doing their work at the station until I remembered she was someone’s mother, which gave me a well-deserved reality check.

I’m glad it did because I was the officer who responded to her home when she passed away from a heart attack and was able to meet her son and tell him what a sweet lady his mom was.

Thank you for asking this question. Although it still makes me sad, it was nice to think of her again. So no, not everyone will get into trouble for just calling the police for “no reason” because, in reality, there had to be some reason they would call the police or maybe even their local fire department since not everybody has a priest or a friend they can confide in, so if they need to call the police, what’s the harm?

Can you get in trouble for calling the police for no reason?

First, why would you call the police for no reason? Did you program the number into your phone and accidentally dial it, or did a child get hold of the phone?

In general, in the US, if you call the police and then report that you dialed the wrong number or hit the wrong number, it isn’t a problem. They may ask if you are being coerced into hanging up. But you won’t get into trouble.

Suppose you call 911. Same thing. Mistakes happen. In both cases, but especially with 911, DO NOT HANG UP. Wait for someone to answer and apologize. If you hang up, 911 will call you back to make sure everything is okay. If there is no answer, they will dispatch an officer to check on you.

Hang-up calls to 911 use up resources and cost a significant amount of money. It is hard to track how much because it depends on how close officers are and how much time they spend. It can get worse when cell phones are involved, since someone has to take the time to trace the location.

If you keep calling the police directly for no reason and wasting their time, this may fall under harassment or prank phone calls. Calling 911 for non-emergencies can generate fines and even be considered a misdemeanour in some states. I was not able to find information specific to Texas, but searching on my phone can take a long time. Check your local laws. If you mean calling the police for non-issues, that would be a completely different scenario.

Have you ever called the police on other police?


I was driving in the slow lane along a 55-mph road doing 55 on cruise control. About a quarter-mile away, the speed dropped to 45 mph, so I dropped out of cruise control and started slowing down.

Up ahead in the 45-mph zone, a police cruiser was parked along the side of the road with an officer standing next to it. I pulled over and stopped on my side of the 45-mph speed limit sign, ensuring I was still on the 55-mph side.

The Officer waved me over, indicating that I should come up to his cruiser. I rolled down my window and signalled, “No”, with my index finger. It apparently didn’t sit well with the Officer, as he started waving with both hands.

I stayed put.

Related: What do you do if your girlfriend wets the bed?

The Officer got into his cruiser and made an illegal U-turn on the road. He drove past me, ran a red light, made another U-turn and pulled up a few inches away from my rear bumper. He got out of the cruiser, adjusted his pistol belt and sauntered over to my side of the car.

Insert speed stop question #1: “Sir, do you know how fast you were going?” and order #1, “License and registration.” [No “Please”, either.] I buzzed my window two inches down and asked him what the problem was.

“You were speeding. You were doing 53 in a 45-mph zone. I have it on my radar gun. So, license and registration.”

To this, I responded, “Officer, I WAS probably going 53, as I was slowing down from the 55-mph zone, but, as you can see… I’m not in the 45-mph zone yet. I’m stopped on the side of the road on the 55 side.”

He turned red and ordered me to get out of the car, which I refused to do. What I did was use my Bluetooth controls to call 911 and inform the operator that I was being accosted by an angry police officer trying to coerce me into leaving my vehicle. The operator assured me a supervising officer would arrive shortly… and, surprisingly, one did.

Oh, and I had a dashcam recording everything.

Can you get in trouble for calling the police for no reason?

The Officer was still standing in the road, demanding that I get out when the other Officer arrived. The arriving Officer came over to the passenger side of my car, and I thought, “Uh-oh… this doesn’t bode well.”

The supervising Officer asked me what the problem was. He completely ignored the first officer, who was now crossing his arms and giving me the death look.

Through a partially lowered passenger window, I explained my position and the other Officer’s assertion that I had committed a traffic violation. I pointed out the speed limit sign in my position on the side of the road and showed them the dash cam recording of what had transpired prior to their arrival.

Amazingly, the supervising Officer went and reprimanded the first one! They even went and ordered the Officer to apologize to me!

What should be done if someone called the police on you when you did not actually commit a crime?

I keep a lawyer on retainer for just such situations. His whole job is to be my attorney of record should the cops want to speak to me. I gave him a retainer several years ago, and he gave me his card. Best money I have ever spent. Like a fire extinguisher, it’s better to have one and not need it than to need one and not have one.

If someone calls the cops and accuses you of having committed a crime, the cops need to do two things. First, establish that a crime did, in fact, occur. Second, establish that you had an opportunity to commit it. Sometimes, the only way to do that is to talk to you. That’s when you need a lawyer.

“I need to ask you some questions.”

“am I free to go?”

No. I need you to answer my questions first.”

“If I’m not free to go, then this is an interrogation, and I need a lawyer present. I will answer no more questions until provided with one.”

Can you get in trouble for calling the police for no reason?

“How about I arrest you for obstruction?”

“Officer, I’m not going to tell you how to do your job. I will, however, point out that if I am not free to go, then I am being detained, and Miranda applies. Exercising my rights is NOT obstruction, but I will not resist if you need to arrest me.”

“Well, you’re free to go after you answer my questions.”

“Then I’m being detained, and Miranda applies. Lawyer.”

“What are you hiding?”


“Why won’t you answer my questions?”

“Because anything I say that is exculpatory is hearsay. I can only talk myself into trouble, not out of it. Lawyer.”

“Look, what is it going to take to get you to answer my questions?”

“A lawyer and you can depose me subject to his approval.”

That’s pretty much it. Oh, and never consent to a search.

Can you call the police on the police?

It worked like a charm once years ago for me. My long-term girlfriend suddenly passed away under tragic circumstances, which ended up throwing me into what you would call a situational agitated depression. I stopped working and just stayed inside, binging on vodka.

One day, the phone kept ringing, but I was in no mood to pick it up. I found out later it was someone close to me who knew I had guns in the house and was concerned I might harm myself at that time because I would not answer my phone. The S.W.A.T. team showed up! The phone rang, and this time I answered it.

The, I guess, S.W.A.T. captain told me I must come out and surrender myself, NOW. Because I felt the ramifications of doing so, namely psychiatric evaluation, would not benefit me to a significant degree and might damage me financially, I told him I was not suicidal or in need of them or their intervention. ‘Could you leave now?- I’m o.k., thanks.’

Can you get in trouble for calling the police for no reason?

It did no good. Looking out my window, I saw S.W.A.T. members with scoped sniper rifles behind the trees in my yard, aimed at the house. Luckily for me, I had NOT been drinking that day! I hung up on the S.W.A.T. captain and called my city police department. I explained that I saw someone with a rifle on my property pointing at my house and could send someone out now, and I’ll stay on the phone.

As I remember, two squad cars quickly showed. They see S.W.A.T. all over, but I’m still on the phone, communicating in my normal, rational way, explaining it’s all a misunderstanding that S.W.A.T. is there, and could they help me placate them into leaving? A policeman from the city took sympathy for my plight, came to the door, and talked with me.

Satisfied that I was ‘okay’ and not needing an intervention, he then approached the S.W.A.T. captain and told them their services would not be necessary. The S.W.A.T. team departed and never bothered me again.

Read Also: Is it normal to cry every night?

What are bad reasons to call the police?

Over my career, I was sent on a lot of calls for service that were not law enforcement-related. I have already related being sent to homes when someone needed help moving furniture. Once, I went to an older man’s house to hold one end of a board steady while he levelled it and nailed it in the other end. He had no one else he could ask for help.

I wrangled baby ducks out of sewers. I investigated (unfounded) reports of crashed spacecraft debris. I didn’t mind going on those types of calls. They broke up the day.

What I did mind was being requested by parents to raise their kids (“My 8-year-old refuses to do his homework. Make him.” Or, “I can’t stand my 14-year-old daughter. You take her.” Or, “Make my son _________: go to school/put on his seat belt/cut the grass/stop swearing/stop smoking/clean his room.”)

It’s one thing when a parent is overwhelmed, and it’s another when they are derelict in their responsibilities. For that matter, any responsibility a person chooses to ignore should not be law enforcement’s task to rectify.

Can you get in trouble for calling the police for no reason?

What should be done if someone called the police on you when you did not actually commit a crime?


I’ve had the police called on me more times than I can count. I’m rude to the point of terror if that’s the mood I choose to display. Imbeciles get scared and call the police. With the police, I am super polite and cooperative. Explain that the idiot who called them misunderstood what was going on, and that’s the end of it.

The last time I had to show up to a government building and deal with some civil servants and their paperwork over an issue, I arrived at an empty waiting room and 3 of them chatting away behind a glass window. I waited, I waited, I waited, I finally got called over to deal with the paperwork.

I was told they didn’t have time to deal with it today. Really? Empty waiting room? There are 3 of you? You’ve been talking about your last dinner party for 20 minutes. I need 1 form to be filed, and I can leave. They told me to come back tomorrow.

I walked outside, called into the office and acted like a new person, and they said they had a slot available in about an hour.

Can you get in trouble for calling the police for no reason?

Then I said, “What the fuck? I was just up there, and you told me you had no time until tomorrow”, and she’s like, oh, well then, I guess we can’t see you until tomorrow.

I walked back in and told the lady at the front desk that this place would be run more efficiently if a bomb went off and there were fewer of you to distract each other. They called the police. The building went on high alert, security everywhere; they were preparing to search the entire building for bombs.

I was searched for weapons.

I informed the police that the woman had overreacted. I did not make a threat. Listen very carefully to how I worded my statement: “This place would be more efficient if a bomb went off and there were fewer of you to distract each other.”

I never stated I had a bomb, and I never stated I was going to use the bomb. I never stated I was going to be responsible for removing or killing anyone. No direct threat had been made against anyone, nor was it implied that there was a bomb. I need help understanding English. I’m an asshole but don’t ever pretend I threatened you when I didn’t.

The police informed them that there had not been a threat and they shouldn’t have wasted their time. The police informed me that I should choose my words more carefully so as not to scare idiots. (yes, he actually used the word idiots).

Can you get in trouble for calling the police for no reason?

Final result?

Their supervisor came out and asked me what the problem was: I gave her a very polite summary of events, how long I’d been waiting, their refusal to do their job even though no one else was waiting, the simple fact that I was only there to file one piece of paperwork and that it was already ready to go they just needed to take it and give me a receipt for having received it.

The supervisor told them to quit slacking off, she took care of me herself, and we were done 3 minutes later. Her scolding them took longer than her time helping me.

Mr. police officer, I had chosen my words carefully. I got exactly what I wanted: for a bunch of chatty Kathy do nothing clerks to file a piece of fucking paperwork as if it was their job because it is, and that’s what they were hired to do. The place was more efficient just from commenting that a bomb would make them more efficient. It didn’t even require the bomb.

Also Read: Is dating single mothers really a bad idea in general?

I’m an asshole, but there’s always a point behind it. Be nice to the police and everyone who deserves it. Scare the fuck out of everyone else. Since this is getting some attention, here’s another one: 

I had the police call on me while sleeping on a bus. Not for sleeping on the bus, just while sleeping on the bus. It was a cross-country Greyhound trip from New York to California. The one that takes the scenic route down the eastern seaboard to Florida, then across the south through Texas and finally snakes up through Nevada before dumping you somewhere in Los Angeles.

Can you get in trouble for calling the police for no reason?

Anyway, during one of the many long legs from one station to another, I was sleeping. While I was sleeping, some lady called the police on me and had them meet me at the next station.

My crime? I scared her daughter. She was scared of the white man who might be a pedophile because why else would a white man be on a bus with children?

There were no other kids on the bus other than this one, and they got on at a stop after me while I was asleep. I didn’t even know they were on the bus until I woke up and we were offloading. My crime was being white while asleep on a bus.

Again, be polite and cooperate. Took me all of a few minutes to figure out what had happened and be on my way to the bus transfer I needed for the next step of my trip. She was still being detained and questioned when I left. They weren’t too happy with her once they realized I hadn’t done anything wrong.

Have you ever called the police on other police?

One day, out of the blue, two officers just walked into my house. My wife was reading a book, I was putting groceries away, and my son was hanging out in his room. The dog went crazy with barking and growling, the kind of growl that indicated he meant business. The cops pulled their guns while my wife tried to restrain the dog.

My wife did not take kindly to having guns pulled on her. For a moment, I was too scared to move. I grabbed the dog by the collar and handed him off to my son, who locked him in the bathroom. The officers were very rude and angry. They told us it was just common sense to lock your dog away when you call the police.

We hadn’t called the police and told them so. They didn’t believe us. Still acting tough, they asked a few more questions; when they got to me, I told them to leave. They did this, along with a couple of parting shots and insults.

After they left, we discussed what to do — who do you call when you want to call the police on the police? Finally, I decided to call the non-emergency number and request to speak to a supervisor. It took a few minutes, but she finally showed up. We told her our side of the story (most of which the officers had told her when she talked to them before coming to see us). The cops denied just walking into our house without knocking or ringing the doorbell.

Can you get in trouble for calling the police for no reason?

The supervisor told us they had the right house number on the wrong street. I was still really pissed off; it was a scary scene with guns pulled and directed at my wife. The next day, I called a lawyer I knew, asking if we could sue. He responded that yes, we could, but it would be a very modest payout if we either prevailed or settled. 

He then told me that if we filed a lawsuit, we’d be stopped and harassed by the police. He told me I’d probably have to move out of the city if we did it. I got the picture and let the issue drop. To this day, I still get angry, and a part of me wishes I’d sued them.

What are some silly reasons that people call the police?

The UK police often release a list of the silly/unnecessary reasons people have called the police as a way of illustrating the calls that are not emergencies. Some of the ones I found funniest/silliest:

  • A spider in the bath-tub
  • Not knowing the answer to a crossword clue
  • “I have no milk.”
  • “The wind is too noisy.”
  • Requests for local service/business phone numbers
  • “My pizza has the wrong topping.”
  • My pet has escaped from my house (Not a dangerous animal)
  • “I saw a horse, and I think it looked sad.”
  • “This shop won’t let me return this item” – often the item has been consumed/used/broken/ was not bought at that store
  • Someone has blocked me on Facebook
  • I need a ride home.

My personal favourite is one I read in the local paper a couple of years back, though. A lady called the police one evening and was upset enough that the dispatcher sent a patrol car to her home because they were nearby to find out what was wrong. 

The report back to control was quoted as “<Policeman’s Badge number> to control. I’ve found out what was wrong with the lady. She’s distressed and scared of the large, bright light she can see in the sky. Yes, Sarge, I can see it too. I’ve identified the light, too. It’s the moon.”

Can you get in trouble for calling the police for no reason?

Read It Also: Why is the Victorian era often portrayed as dark, boring, and gloomy?

If someone calls the cops over and over for dumb reasons, are they legally obligated to keep coming?

My ex-wife (we were in the middle of our divorce in the early 1970s) told me angrily that she called the police and told them I had a lot of marijuana in my apartment. Scared the hell out of me. So I called the police and told them what she did and assured them I had no weed. The dispatcher said to me, “Do you have any idea how many times a day we get calls like that? Don’t worry about it.”

Ironically, sometime later, I was having a party at that apartment, and some people were smoking dope. We went around the room, and everybody told us what they did. One guy said, “I’m with LAPD.” People about shit a brick. He said, “Relax. I’m not with narcotics; I’m on the vice squad.”

Can you call the police on the police?

I’ve read cases where someone was being tailed by a squad car, and they refused to pull over. They used their cell to call and see if the vehicle behind them was a cop. There had been cases where it was not an actual officer, and the women were raped or the person was robbed. It is not illegal to refuse to pull over if you think it is a hoax, and you call 911 to find out if there is an officer behind you wanting you to pull over.

Can you get in trouble for calling the police for no reason?

Can I call the police on someone who is calling the police on me for no reason?

If someone were calling the police on me multiple times, with no justification, I’d start explaining what was happening to the officers who responded and asking for their business cards. I would document the time, date, and reason provided for each police visit, and after several more such incidents, I would go to my local police station in person and file a complaint with the desk sergeant. 

I would want them to see that I am calm and rational, and I want to live my life without law enforcement regularly showing up to investigate me for some imaginary issue. I would ask for a copy of the complaint and show it to any officers who subsequently visit, still collecting business cards and documenting the incidents. 

If the police visits did not subside, I would go back to the station and file a complaint with the watch commander and again request a copy. If the police visits still did not stop, I would speak to an attorney about filing for an order of protection against the police department.

Do I ever have to talk with the police?

In the US, you must identify yourself to the police officer, you must provide a driver’s license to him or her if you are driving (not if you are merely walking down the street), and you must obey any lawful order given by the officer (such as “Please step out of the car.”).

Other than identifying questions, you are not required to answer any question posed to you by the police at any time. You may exercise your right to remain silent and not answer any questions whatsoever. It is also a very quick way to ensure that you receive the highest level of scrutiny possible by the officer, and if he or she has probable cause to do so, it is likely to result in your arrest.

There’s a strong balance to be had when you’re interacting with the police. I can think of one instance where had I exercised my right to remain silent absolutely, I would have been taken into custody for a crime that I certainly did not commit. 

Can you get in trouble for calling the police for no reason?

Rather, I balanced the police officer’s interest in investigating a reported domestic violence situation in the apartment complex where I lived with the fact that I really just wanted to go back to my apartment and finish watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer

I answered all of his questions truthfully and as fully as I could. It’s entirely possible that by doing so (admitting that I lived in the complex, that my girlfriend was in my apartment visiting me, etc.) 

I was giving the officer information that confirmed his suspicions about me. But it also permitted them to have a female officer visit my apartment, talk to my girlfriend, and quickly rule me out as a suspect. Had I refused to answer his questions because I have a “right to remain silent”, I would have at least been cuffed and placed in the back of the patrol car if not outright arrested on suspicion of DV?

TL;DR – No, you don’t have to answer anything other than an inquiry about your name. But there are better ways to do it or the easiest way to achieve the best outcome for you.

Can you get in trouble for calling the police for no reason?


This answer is not a substitute for professional legal advice. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship, nor is it a solicitation to offer legal advice. Suppose you ignore this warning and convey confidential information in a private message or comment. 

In that case, there is no duty to keep that information confidential or forego representation adverse to your interests. Seek the advice of a licensed attorney in the appropriate jurisdiction before taking any action that may affect your rights. 

If you believe you have a claim against someone, consult an attorney immediately. Otherwise, there is a risk that the time allotted to bring your claim may expire. Quora users who respond to legal questions are intended third-party beneficiaries with certain rights under Quora’s Terms of Service (

Can you get in trouble for calling the police for no reason?

error: Content is protected !!