Of the many things you should never say to a cop, a lie is near the top of the list -- especially if that lie is regarding a crime that was never committed. Filing a false police report can be a costly waste of time for law enforcement, not to mention a permanent stain on someone's reputation. And it might also land you in jail.
Almost every state makes false reporting of a crime its own criminal offense. And although the penalties can vary from state to state, they are all serious.
Attorney General, or a deputy attorney general, or a district attorney, or a deputy district attorney that a felony or misdemeanor has been committed, knowing the report to be false";
Although these definitions vary, each is misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and up to $1,000 in fines.
Swatting for S.W.A.T.
A unique kind of false report, "swatting" refers to calling 911 to someone else's residence and reporting an ongoing crime like a hostage situation. These pranks can be especially expensive, since the police are required to treat every call as an emergency, and often send S.W.A.T. and other heavily armed officers to respond.
Due to the rapid response and the number of officers involved, swatting can easily jump from a misdemeanor to a felony if someone is injured because of the false report or if you've been previously convicted of false reporting.
If you've been charged with false reporting or falsely accused of a crime, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately.
- Browse Criminal Defense Lawyers by Location (FindLaw Directory)
- Making a Bomb Threat: What Can Happen? (FindLaw Blotter)
- Too Many 911 Calls Can Get You Arrested (FindLaw Blotter)
- What Do You Do if You're Falsely Accused of a Crime (FindLaw Blotter)