What’s the Penalty for Filing a False Police Report?
False reporting as per criminal defense Arizona law refers to two different aspects. The first, covered by Arizona Revised Statutes 13-2907, stipulates that it is unlawful to initiate or circulate a false report concerning a fire, bombing or other emergency, in full knowledge that it is not true.
The second aspect, covered by Arizona Revised Statutes 13.2907.01 refers to making a false statement to any law enforcement agency or political subdivision of the state of Arizona.
In this article we will discuss the implications of a false reporting charge and how you can defend it with the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Common Situations When You May Be Accused of False Reporting
Few people would willfully spread the false news of a serious emergency, just for the purpose of intimidation or spreading confusion. We like to think that under no circumstances we would resort to such behavior.
However, in our experience as criminal defense Arizona law attorneys, such situations can occur quite frequently. Here are a few instances:
Being Pulled over for Suspected DUI
You are driving home after an evening out with friends, and you get pulled over by the police. Among other questions, the law enforcement officer will ask you if you consumed alcohol and how many drinks you’ve had.
You admit that you had one drink and then you have to take a Breathalyzer test, which indicates a BAC in excess of 0.08. Under criminal defense Arizona law, the law enforcement officer can charge you with false reporting beside DUI.
Reporting a House Fire
You want to be a good neighbor and call the fire truck, because you smelled or saw smoke coming out of a house. When the first responders arrive, a bewildered neighbor says that they were smoking a cigar or cooking.
Depending on the circumstances, you may end up charged with false reporting and require the assistance of a criminal defense Arizona law attorney.
Another common instance of getting potentially charged with false reporting happens when you are pulled over for speeding. The officer asks how fast you were driving, and you give a value slightly higher than the maximum speed.
However, the radar indicates that you were driving much faster. In this instance, false reporting charges can be added to driving above the speed limit.
Sentences for False Reporting Charges under Criminal Defense Arizona Law
This type of charge is treated as a class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a fine of $2,500. Second and other subsequent violations will be treated as a class 6 felony, carrying a sentence of up to 18 months in jail.
How Can a Criminal Defense Arizona Law Attorney Help You?
Although the situation appears difficult to overcome, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you fight these charges. One of the most common defenses is the Miranda Rights violation.
How does this work? In general, statements given to the police enforcement officers are treated as being made on a voluntary basis under criminal defense Arizona law. If you can demonstrate that the officer led you or pressured you into making the respective statement or that they did not read your Miranda rights, these may be grounds for being cleared of the false reporting charges.
Let an Experienced Criminal Defense Arizona Law Attorney Help You
A false reporting charge can affect your life for years to come. Being considered a crime of dishonesty, it may prevent you from getting the job you want or an approval for a loan.
Remember that being charged does not equal being found guilty under criminal defense Arizona law. With the right representation, you can successfully fight off false reporting charges, so to learn more about the penalty for filing a false police report, call us for a case review!