Giving false information to law enforcement is not only wrong – it is against the law and therefore may result in criminal charges. Our Ft. Lauderdale false report lawyers could help you if you have been accused of reporting a crime that did not occur. Our criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert defend all types of criminal cases and could develop a strong defense to protect you against potential penalties.
Laws Regarding False Reporting in Ft Lauderdale
According to subsection 837.05(1) of the Florida State Statutes, anybody who knowingly gives false information to any law enforcement officer concerning the alleged commission of any crime, commits a misdemeanor of the first degree. If you are convicted of this crime, you face a prison sentence not exceeding 1 year. Additionally, state law allows for a fine to be imposed in addition to the prison sentence. However, someone convicted of a crime can be sentenced to pay a fine in lieu of serving prison time. So, if someone is convicted of having given false information to law enforcement regarding the alleged commission of a crime, you either face up to 1 year in prison, up to $1,000 in fines, or both, in addition to probation with various special conditions.
According to s. 837.05(2), if someone knowingly gives false information to a law enforcement officer concerning the alleged commission of a capital felony, this person commits a felony of the third-degree. In these cases, a defendant could face up to 5 years in prison, $5,000 in fines, or both. For a third-degree felony, repeat offenders are subject to harsher punishments, including prison time of up to 10 years. A lawyer in Ft. Lauderdale could help someone prepare for the legal process if they have been accused of reporting false information about a potential crime.
Building a Defense for False Reporting
What is crucial in understanding these statutes and the crimes they describe is the recognition that in order for an individual to have committed a false report crime, the individual had to have known that the information they relayed to law enforcement officers was wrong. The fact of the matter is that people make mistakes. Simply giving information to law enforcement officers that turns out to not be true is not in and of itself a crime. Witnesses and victims of crimes often make mistakes when reporting to law enforcement; they are not always intentional false reports, but rather misconceptions. Giving false information to law enforcement is only a crime if you knew that the information was false at the time at which you gave it to the officers. Our lawyers understand this, and we make it our job to defend our clients aggressively, articulating that the prosecution must prove that our clients knew that the information was false. The burden of proof is on the prosecution, not the defendant, who is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Our Ft. Lauderdale attorneys could help build a solid defense if someone is accused of giving a false report to law enforcement.
Contact Our Ft. Lauderdale False Report Attorney
As everyone makes mistakes, it can be easy to give incorrect information about a crime to law enforcement and not know what you are doing is wrong. However, that does not mean you should be facing criminal consequences for it. If you have been wrongly accused of giving law enforcement inaccurate information about a crime, speak with a Ft. Lauderdale false report lawyer today. Our team could build a case in your defense and protect your rights. To get started on your case, schedule a consultation with one of our dedicated attorneys today.