FALSE REPORT OF A CRIME

In Florida, the False Reporting of a Crime per, Florida Statute 817.49, is when a person:

“willfully imparts, conveys, or causes to be imparted or conveyed to any law enforcement officer false information or reports concerning the alleged commission of any crime under the laws of this state, knowing such information or report to be false, in that no such crime had actually been committed”

This is different from Giving False Information (link) because in the case of a false police report, the person knows that a crime never happened.

PENALTIES

False Reporting is a first-degree misdemeanor in Florida punishable by:

  • Up to 1 year in jail; or

  • Up to 12 months’ probation; and

  • $1,000.00 fine

DEFENSES

Different defenses are available depending on the facts of the case, however, not every case will have a defense. The defenses can be legal or factual in nature such as:

  • Not knowing the information was in fact false

  • Not knowing the person was law enforcement

In most cases, law enforcement is taking one person’s word over another in determining who they believe and who should be arrested. In their rush to make an arrest they may disregard the Defendant’s side of the story as false and even add the charge of Giving a False Report because they don’t believe the Defendant’s version of events. If you find yourself being arrested it is best to remain silent. If you did provide a statement then consulting with an attorney is in your best interest.

 

Charged with false report of a crime? Contact us today.

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