Filing A False Police Report Is Unlawful
In Arizona, it is illegal to provide false information to a police officer. Under Arizona law, “it is unlawful for a person to knowingly make to a law enforcement agency of either this state or a political subdivision of this state a false, fraudulent or unfounded report or statement or to knowingly misrepresent a fact for the purpose of interfering with the orderly operation of a law enforcement agency or misleading a police officer.”
In many cases, individuals are charged with false reporting when a person provides a police officer with a false name. An example of this is when an individual with a fake ID presents false information to a police officer claiming to be the individual on the ID. Individuals in a domestic violence case can also open themselves to false reporting. During heated arguments, parties may get caught up in the moment and tell an officer embellished information. After the argument has calmed down, parties may change their original story. This situation can lead a prosecutor to file false reporting charges against the individual who made the statement.
Consequences Of False Reporting And Possible Defenses
False reporting is considered a class 1 misdemeanor, which carries the stiffest punishment of all misdemeanor crimes. A class 1 misdemeanor ranges from probation with no jail time to a maximum sentence of six months in jail. Generally, there are fines associated with a class 1 misdemeanor. The maximum fine is $2,500 which also carries an 84% surcharge the defendant must pay. Facing a charge of false reporting can lead to difficult repercussions. If convicted, the charge can be used against you in a future lawsuit or a child custody proceeding
There are defenses an individual can present while disputing a false reporting claim. The key elements that can be disputed in a false reporting case are whether the defendant had the “intent” and “knowledge” to provide a law enforcement official with false information. This is why it is crucial to have an attorney begin focusing on defenses as soon as possible.
Call Our Firm Today For Aggressive Representation
Mr. Lopez is an experienced criminal defense attorney who has represented people throughout Arizona charged with false reporting. If charged with false reporting, it is critical to hire an attorney as soon as possible so they may begin investigating your case and craft an effective defense. Speak to an attorney at our firm by calling our offices at 602-960-1731 or using our email contact form.