Giving False Report to Law Enforcement


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If you are questioned by the police, you might be tempted to give the officers the name of someone you just had a fight with as the perpetrator of the crime they are talking to you about. But if you implicate someone else falsely, you can be charged with false reports to law enforcement authorities and you will risk years in prison and heavy fines.

You can also commit the crime of false reports to law enforcement authorities, if you run to the police with a story you invented about your ex robbing a convenience store when you know they really didn’t.

Incriminating someone falsely to the police, or reporting an incident to them that never really happened, will make them angry and it can cause you to be treated unfairly. You will need a criminal defense attorney who can stand up for your rights and provide you with a strong and effective defense.

What You Need To Know About False Reports To Law Enforcement Authorities

Under Pennsylvania law, an individual commits the offenses of falsely incriminating another and false reports when they:

  • Falsely incriminate another person. For example, falsely telling the police someone committed a crime with the intention of incriminating them. This is a misdemeanor of the second degree.
  • Fictitious reports. This includes reporting made-up incidents to the police that you know never really occurred or pretending you know about an incident when you really don’t. This is a misdemeanor of the third degree.

If you provide police with false information as described above during a declared state of emergency, and the false information causes law enforcement to divert their activities from dealing with the emergency, the offense will be graded one step higher.

Unsworn Falsification To Authorities

If a person makes a written statement to police or other public servants that he or she knows is not true or submits writing that they know is forged or altered, they can be charged with unsworn falsification to authorities which is a misdemeanor of the second degree.

What Your Lawyer Can Do

Your attorney will carefully review every aspect of your case to determine if there is evidence for all you have been accused of.

  • Your lawyer will make every effort to discredit any evidence not in your favor.
  • Much of what your lawyer can do to help you will depend on the exact circumstances of your case.
  • If might have believed the incident you reported was true. If so, your lawyer will gather the evidence or witnesses to prove it.

Your lawyer will be looking at every avenue that can help you, so it’s important that you give them all of the information that can support your case.

How A Lawyer Will Help

When you are up against false reports to law enforcement authorities charges, even before your first hearing you will be facing a determined prosecutor. You need an attorney who will stand by you every step of the way, work hard to discredit any evidence – and work with you to determine your best course of action.

Pennsylvania False Reports To Law Enforcement Authorities Law

False reports to law enforcement authorities is described and defined under The Pennsylvania Criminal Code under Title 18, Chapter 49. Read the code here.

Questions? Contact us today.

Based on the evidence, Fienman Defense will try to show that the charges should be dismissed. If it’s in your best interest, we will work to negotiate a lesser sentence. Should the case go to trial, we will fight to present the strongest defense possible for your situation.