Filing a False Police Report in Florida

repercussions for filing a false police report in florida

Filing a police report is essential for instances like car accidents, violent crimes, and when you have an item stolen or vandalized. For many things, having a police report is a prerequisite before any action can be taken. For example, your insurance company will require a copy of the police report when deciding whether to accept your claim after a car accident. Having a police report can even result in discounts. Some phone companies offer discounts on replacement phones, and the DMV won’t charge you for a replacement driver’s license if you have a police report.

Seeing the benefits of having a police report can push one to file a false police report but doing so can result in serious legal repercussions. If you are facing criminal penalties for filing a false police report, reach out to an experienced attorney. The Orlando criminal defense lawyers at The Umansky Law Firm are knowledgeable attorneys who have handled numerous cases like yours. We can evaluate the facts of your case, make you aware of your legal options, and serve as your legal representation moving forward.

Penalties for Filing a False Police Report

Filing a false police report is a first-degree misdemeanor in Florida. Under Florida Statute § 817.49, first-time offenders face the following criminal penalties:

  • Up to one year in jail; or
  • 12 months probation; and
  • Up to $1,000 in fines

The burden of proof is on the State to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the offense to get a conviction. In a filing a false police report case, the State must prove the four following elements:

  • You willfully gave or provided [caused to be given or provided] false information or a false report about the commission of a crime under Florida law to a law enforcement officer;
  • You knew the information you provided was false because no such crime had been committed;
  • The law enforcement officer who received the information was an actual law enforcement officer; and
  • You knew that the person whom you were giving the information to was indeed a law enforcement officer.

As your criminal defense attorneys, it is our responsibility to present the most applicable defenses to the presented charges to lessen criminal penalties or to even have charges dismissed altogether.

Defenses Against Filing a False Police Report

There are a few known defenses that we can present against the charges you face. These include:

  • Misinformation: You did not know that the information you were providing was false or the officer mistook what you expressed.
  • Report Not Provably False: Law enforcement jumped to conclusions as to whose side they were on and pressed charges on the other party whom they chose not to believe.
  • No Knowledge of Police: You did not know that the person you were providing this information to was indeed a police officer.

Help from an Orlando Criminal Defense Attorney

The Orlando criminal defense lawyers at The Umansky Law Firm have over 100 years of combined experience and have time spent as former state and local prosecutors. We understand the severity of the penalties you face if found guilty, and we are here to fight relentlessly for your freedom. Contact us today at 407-228-3838 for a free case evaluation.