A false confession occurs when an individual admits they were guilty of a crime, but instead is innocent. The confession is the result of a coercion or force a police officer may use on a suspect. But filing a false report is different.

What Is a False Police Report?

To make a false police report means an individual knowingly makes false allegations to a police officer with the intent to start or disrupt a criminal investigation. The report can be made by completing an actual police report or telling an on-duty offer a lie.

How Does California Define Making a False Police Report?

The state defines this crime as reporting to a deputy district attorney, peace officer, or district attorney that a felony or misdemeanor occurred. The defendant who made the false report must know the information is false.

How Much Time in Jail Can I Get for Making a False Report?

Making a false report is a misdemeanor. If convicted, the defendant can spend up to 6 months in jail. The court may grant probation instead and they will take into account the defendant’s criminal history, motive, and the consequences of the false report to determine the punishment. Texas has a similar law with similar punishments.

Is The Police Coming to Me and Asking For a Statement a Defense to Making a False Report?

No. Whether or not a police officer ask the defendant questions about the false report is not a defense. Some common defenses to making a false report include: 

  • The defendant, in good faith, believed the false report to be true.
  • The defendant did not personally report the crime.

Should I Contact a Lawyer about Representing Me with My Criminal Case?

Yes. Contact a California criminal lawyer to help you fight the misdemeanor of filing a false report.