California False Police Report Attorney – Penal Code 148.5 PC
Should I Hire A Criminal Defense Attorney For Filing A False Police Report Charge?
If you have been accused of making a false police report in California, then you should speak to My Rights Law right away. My Rights Law’s crimes against justice lawyer has a track record of success in these types of criminal cases. We will work hard to defend you. To get help, call My Rights Law at (888) 702-8882 or complete our secure web form for your free consultation.
Elements Of A “Filing A False Police Report” Offense
California law prohibits anyone from filing a false police report. It is a criminal offense when the report in question involves a misdemeanor or a felony. You can’t be charged with an offense if your report just involved someone failing to stop at a red light on your street or that a neighbor is making too much noise. For a crime to have occurred in the filing of the report, you must have knowingly reported false details about a felony or misdemeanor crime that occurred or knowingly made a claim that a crime occurred when no such incident took place. You may also be accused of this offense if you knowingly gave false information to authorities investigating a crime reported initially by a third party.
You may also face misdemeanor or felony charges for knowingly misrepresenting the value of theft or damage to insurers, knowingly reporting a false emergency, or knowingly using a false name or identity to make a police report. It is also important to note that many distinct California laws make it a crime to falsely report specific kinds of criminal activity, such as trespass.
The offense of filing a false police report requires specific intent. Meaning, that a prosecutor (district attorney) won’t be able to meet their burden of proof unless they can demonstrate that you knew that the police report you submitted about the criminal activity was false.
Penalties For Filing A False Police Report
In the CA criminal justice system, the offense of filing a false police report is classified as a misdemeanor. As a result, a conviction for this offense is punishable by no more than six months of incarceration in county jail and a fine of up to $1,000. However, this is a “wobbler” crime under certain circumstances. Meaning that false reports could potentially be punishable as a felony if specific criteria are met.
Defenses To Filing A False Police Report
The primary defense to filing a false police report is that you didn’t know that the information you provided to law enforcement was false (you didn’t know you were making a false statement to them). While it isn’t always easy to prove this defense, it is possible to successfully have charges dropped or reduced because of insufficient intent. Additionally, you may be able to successfully defend against these false report charges if you were falsely accused of making a false police report due to a case of mistaken identity.
Should You Represent Yourself?
It is important not to underestimate the consequences associated with a criminal conviction. Even though filing a police report is not among the most serious types of crime like a violent crime, a sex crime, or a drug crime, a conviction will burden you with both a criminal record and the significant stigmas and practical consequences associated with that record. As a result, now is not the time to save money by “doing it yourself” when it comes to legal representation. You both need and deserve the benefit of professional guidance and counsel that will place you in the best possible position to mitigate the risk of a conviction and the consequences associated with a criminal record.
While there are times when a “DIY” approach to various challenges is a wise and responsible option, facing criminal charges is not one of those times. The stakes associated with the outcome of your criminal case are just too high. Connect with an attorney at My Rights Law today to begin building a strong defense to the charges against you. Call at (888) 702-8882 or submit our secure contact form to set up a free consultation.