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Under Florida law, it is a criminal offense to make a false police report or make a false report of a crime. A “False Report” crime in Florida is classified as a first degree misdemeanor, with penalties of up to one year in jail. If you have been accused in Jacksonville, Florida of making a false police report or other false report of a crime, contact our Jacksonville attorneys for a free consultation.
The criminal law in Florida pertaining to a charge of “False Police Report” or False Report of a Crime is contained in Chapter 817 of the Florida Statutes. Under Section 817.49, Florida Statutes, it is a criminal offense for a person to willfully and knowingly give false information or make a false report regarding the commission of an alleged crime where the alleged crime did not actually occur. “False Police Report” or “False Report of a Crime” is distinguished from the offense of Giving False Information Concerning the Commission of a Crime in that, under Section 817.49, no crime actually takes place.
To prove the offense of False Police Report or False Report of a Crime, the prosecution must establish the following four elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
Under Florida Statutes, Chapter 817, False Police Report or False Report of a Crime is a first degree misdemeanor. As such, the offense carries penalties of up to 1 year in jail or 12 months probation, and a $1,000 fine.
There are many defenses available under Florida law to contest a charge of False Report or False Report of a Crime. Often, law enforcement, in investigating an incident, will jump to conclusions and take one person’s side over another. In their haste to arrest someone, they may pursue charges against the person they chose not to believe. Where there is contrary evidence supporting a person’s side of the story, this may put into contention whether the report was in fact false.
Even if the report turns out to be false, the prosecution must establish that the accused knew that the information contained in the report was false. Where the accused was simply mistaken, given misinformation by someone else, or misconstrued the situation, this will provide a powerful defense.
Moreover, even if the information is false, and even if the accused knew it was false, the information or report must given or made to a law enforcement officer, not a bystander or other person. Thus there often defenses where the accused did not know the person was an police officer, or did not intend the information they gave to reach the hands of officers.
These are just a few of the defenses that may be raised in these types of cases. If you have been accused of making a false police report, or false report to law enforcement regarding the commission of a crime, contact Hussein & Webber, PL to discuss your legal options. All consultations with our Jacksonville Criminal Attorney are free and confidential.
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