The police department is subjected to help the public with limited resources and with utter devotion. This is why it is considered an illegal act when someone files a false police report as it eventually causes the waste of public resources.
In many states along with California, New York, Alaska, San Diego, and Arizona, it is illicit to file a false police report. People can face various and serious quandaries if found involved in such commission of criminal executions. Pursuant to the California penal code 148.5, reporting a false police report against someone is a crime.
In addition, every state imposes different penalties and convictions for a false police report, and not all of them always treat the execution as a misdemeanor. Depending on the severity of the damages someone had faced because you filed a false police report against them, you could also be charged for a maximum of one year jail with a felony criminal record in your history. Plus, if the defendant takes action against you for filing false police reports and defaming, other convictions can also be professed.
Possible penalties for filing a false police report
The criminal penalties for the offense vary across the states. States often take the act as a misdemeanor if it gets proved before the defendant actually gets convicted with convictions after a false report. In addition, there could be many other charges a person can be charged with such as fraud, obstruction of justice, perjury, etc. In the claims at the federal level, a civil conviction of defamation can also be added.
To get away with the charges successfully, it is important to have an experienced attorney at your side and build a client-attorney relationship so the charges can be beaten up completely.
Criminal penalties against filing a false report entail one year of time behind the bars with the option of supervised probation along with significant fines. But that’s being said, penalties vary across states. Such as in Colorado, the offense of false reporting that involves other criminal commissions may result in;
- Up to one-month incarcerations
- Fines between $50 and $750
- Supervised probation with the community service
In Nevada, the offense of false reporting carries;
- Up to six months incarceration
- Fines up to $1000
- Supervised probation
These charges can be pressed if the false reporting event was taken as a misdemeanor. If the event happened in another state such as New York, the accuser can be charged with one of the three possible degrees of a criminal offense. In NY, the most severe penalty one could be charged with is class D felony which carries;
- Seven-year jail time in the county prison
- A fine of $5000 and can be larger depending on the severity of the false claim defendant faced.
Also, with the criminal penalties, people involved in false reporting will have a lifetime criminal record which can eventually hurt their professional and personal life when there’s a background check. Having a criminal record in the background can potentially lead to stigmatization and disapproval of many opportunities.
Additional aggravated criminal charges
Just because someone filed a false report, they can be charged with some prominent criminal charges other than just false reporting. Alongside false reporting, charges may include:
- Disrupting criminal investigation
- Filing false terrorism report
- Insurance frauds
- Recording of false statements
- Obstruction of justice
For instance, a man crashed his car while he was drunk and driving under influence. Worried about the damages and thinks that because he was driving drunk, his auto insurance company will not cover the damage. He silently parked his car on the street when he drove home the same night. In the morning he called 911 and filed a report that his car got smashed by a hit-and-run driver. An established false police report made the insurer cover the damage of the property.
Often the question arises if can you sue someone for filing a false police report? If you are convicted just because someone has filed a false report against you, you must be looking for the answers if you can sue someone for false reporting. As discussed earlier, in civil claims, a person can be charged with defamation charges if found guilty.
A civil lawsuit of defamation can be tried on a person who filed a false report against you. Civil litigation of defamation of a character comes in two forms, libel, and slander.
When a person’s character or credibility comes at stake after a false reporting, it is better to contact a defense attorney who can help in getting slander and libel convictions for the accused along with other charges.
The civil lawsuit of libel and slander comes into play when a person makes false statements to a third party through verbal communication while the libel charges can be pressed when the statements were made in writing.
Whether you become successful in getting convictions of slander or libel, a court considers the offense as defamatory per se or actionable per se. In other words, no matter how the false allegations were made against you, false reporting is an illegal criminal act that is punishable in every state.
What is considered false in a police report?
Making communication with the law enforcement officers which is false is a criminal offense. To be considered a crime, the police have to make sure that the defendant knows that the information was wrong. Unintentionally making police reports that someone filed due to lack of information or just to protect someone from additional harm cannot be considered a crime.
It entails a misspeaking or the information that the defendant assumed to be true would not suffice a criminal act.
A false report can be filed with any of the following officers;
- Peace officers
- Police officers
- District officers
- Grand juries
- Law enforcement officers that file public complaints like the operators of 911.
However, filing a false report and lying to the police are distinctly separate offenses from each other. Some states seriously charge when someone is found lying in a false report.
Some legal defenses against the charge of a false police report
Defendants have more than one option to defend themselves when they are accused of filing false police reports. To fight these charges these common defenses can be applied to any situation;
- Faith or belief that the event was true
- The report was not filed a right department
- False accusation
- Strong faith or belief that the information they had come up with was not false can be a good defense. Their lack of knowledge can come into play while being convicted
- Criminal statutes of state and federal suits define which authority has to receive and file what kind of reports. It would be a strong defense if the report was filed at a wrong authority that does not have the right to receive it.
- Defendants trying to bat the charges can also work to prove that they are falsely accused of filing a false police report. While people make false reporting to satiate their vengeful needs. However, if they are accused falsely, it can be challenging to prove that they are being dragged wrongly in the case. This would need solid evidence and a wide experienced attorney to remove charges and get you out free.
Some other charges associated with false reporting or similar offenses contain;
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