Obstruction of justice is the criminal act of interfering with due process and administration of the law. The interference includes meddling with a criminal investigation or criminal proceeding. California links the criminal act of interfering with an investigation with providing false information to police.

How Does California Define Providing False Information to Police?

The state defines this criminal act as not giving false information to law enforcement by:

How Is Law Enforcement Defined in California?

A peace officer is anyone who engages in law enforcement such as:

  • Police officer
  • Marshal
  • Sheriff
  • Deputy marshal
  • California Highway Patrol
  • Inspector with the district attorney’s office
  • Investigator with the district attorney’s office

What Does The Prosecutor Have to Prove to Convict Me of Providing False Information?

The prosecutor must be able to prove that the defendant:

  • Gave false information to a police officer who was in performance of their duties
  • Knew the information was false
  • Should have known or actually knew the person the defendant was giving information to was a peace officer

Is Providing False Information a Misdemeanor Offense?

Yes. A conviction of providing false information is a misdemeanor. It is punishable by up to 6 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.

Why Was I Charged with Felony Providing False Information to a Police Officer?

The defendant can face a felony charge if their offense included perjury or fraud. Examples of fraud includes false insurance information or a fake driver’s license.

Are There Any Defenses to This Criminal Charge?

Yes. Specific defenses to this crime include:

  • The defendant told the truth
  • The defendant thought they told the truth in good faith
  • Not knowing the individual was a peace officer

Should I Contact a Lawyer Regarding This Criminal Charge?

It’s in your best interest to contact a California criminal lawyer to discuss your possible defenses.