Are there repercussions to testify in court? 42 Answers as of August 24, 2011

I sent an email to a land owner stating that a meth lab was on his property. The land owner had the DEA at the property and collected anything they thought as evidence. The intended person was charged (but no real evidence was found). I'm asked to testify for that intended person, on their behalf, that I sent the email only to cause harm to this person. Otherwise, I falsely accused. If I were to state that, yes I falsely accused the intended person, what are the repercussions I may face? I did not call police, only the land owner. I am also on probation for possession.

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Austin Legal Services, PLC
Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
That could possibly be a probation violation. Since you didn't actually call the police, I don't think they could charge you for filing a false police report. However, if this person was charged with a crime because of your lies, he could have a valid civil suit against you for the harm you caused him. You certainly don't want to lie under oath because perjury will only make the matter worse. I would strongly suggest you retain counsel.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/24/2011
Law Office of Andrew Subin
Law Office of Andrew Subin | Andrew Subin
Presenting false information to a police officer is a crime. If you admit that you did this, you may face criminal penalties. You should refuse to testify based on the 5th amendment right to remain silent.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/15/2011
Law Office of Sara Sencer McArdle
Law Office of Sara Sencer McArdle | Sara Sencer McArdle
You need to consult with an attorney.
Answer Applies to: New Jersey
Replied: 8/15/2011
Law Office of Phillip Weiser
Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
A person can file a lawsuit if they fell they have been wronged. You should not agree to anything that is not truthful. If you are called to give testimony, you should only give factual, truthful testimony as any false statements could be charged as a purgery.
Answer Applies to: Kansas
Replied: 8/12/2011
Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
This response is general information only and does not establish an attorney client relationship. However, you could be charged with making a false report and this could also be a violation of probation. You should hire an attorney.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 8/11/2011
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    It depends upon what your intentions were when you made the call. If you knew there was no meth lab and you made the call just to hassle the person on the property, then you could be charged with filing a false police report. That could certainly have implication for you if you are on probation. Aside from the criminal aspect there is also civil exposure. If you, in any way, damaged the person financially, he could sue you. I don't have enough info. Best advise, speak with an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
    There is the possibility of contributing the filing of a false report, which is a crime. However, you could likely be sued personally for "malicious prosecution" which is the basis for a lawsuit in Missouri.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner | Roianne Houlton Conner
    You could face a charge of making a false compliant or obstruction of justice both of which are serious charges.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    If you admit that you falsely accused someone of criminal activity that might set you up for a defamation (libel) claim.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/7/2011
    Gonzalez Law Associates P.C.
    Gonzalez Law Associates P.C. | Carlos Gonzalez
    You may be charged criminally with filing a false instrument or providing false information... Or, you may be civilly liable in court for damages.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/6/2011
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law | Jules Fiani
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/6/2011
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    August 5, 2011 There could be major repercussions if you testify. You could be setting yourself up for investigation by law enforcement you may be setting yourself up for a slander suit. You should immediately employ an attorney to get you out of this mess.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/6/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    If you confess in court to a slander against a person, it is different than confessing to making a false report to police, which is a crime for which you could be prosecuted. If you actually talked to police and in any way confirmed what you said in the email, then you have a false report problem. If not, then all you have to deal with is the defendant being unhappy with you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    Since you only told the landlord, there is a question as to whether you could be charged with filing a false police report. I would suggest that you consult with a competent criminal defense attorney regarding all the facts of this matter and seek his/her advise as to whether you should testify.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Lewis & Dickstein, P.L.L.C.
    Lewis & Dickstein, P.L.L.C. | Loren Dickstein
    You have the right to refuse to testify under the 5th Amendment to the United States Constitution. It sounds like invoking that right may be appropriate in your situation. I suggest you consult with a Criminal Defense Attorney as soon as possible.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Bloom Legal, LLC
    Bloom Legal, LLC | Seth J. Bloom
    The main thing you should be worried about is perjuring yourself in court. This will occur if you testify under oath to anything that is later discovered to be untrue. This can have serious consequences for you. Otherwise, the fact that you contacted a landowner and provided them with information should not in itself be a crime (I do not have enough information on this matter to make a definite assessment though and you may still be open to criminal liability for something I am not aware of). Your main concern at this point should be to speak with a local criminal defense attorney if you believe that you will be called into court to testify. Your attorney will be able to work with you to prepare you for questioning in court and guide you through how to avoid exposing yourself to criminal liability based upon your testimony. If you are seeking legal representation in this matter in Louisiana, I invite you to contact my firm at the information on this page for a free case evaluation.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    This legal problem is too complex to be answered for free in this forum. Give us a call toll free if you would like to retain our office for a consultation.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Law Offices of Jeffery A. Cojocar, PC
    Law Offices of Jeffery A. Cojocar, PC | Jeffery A. Cojocar
    You could be sued in a civil action.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Donahue, Sowa & Magana Attorneys at Law
    Donahue, Sowa & Magana Attorneys at Law | Glenn M. Sowa
    If you are called to testify, you must swear to tell the truth. If you do so, there are no criminal repercussions. However, your false accusation may have civil repercussions, i.e. the intended person may sue you for defamation of character.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    If you did not make a report to police, you cannot be charged criminally. You may be sued civilly, however, for defamation of character.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    The Chastaine Law Office
    The Chastaine Law Office | Michael Chastaine
    This is a bit complex and you should seek legal counsel. If you didn't report anything to law enforcement and haven't give a statement then you don't have a problem with that. If you testify you have to tell the truth or you can be charged with perjury. If you made up the allegation just to get the guy in trouble you will need to so state if asked in court.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    Your question is not clear, if you are going to testify that you lied to the land owner about the alleged meth lab then I doubt you will be allowed to testify. The reason is that if they have evidence that links a person to a crime, how does your statement to the land owner change that? If they have no real evidence then tell the accused to get a lawyer and make them prove it!
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
    You should hire an attorney. Your position requires more detail for appropriate advice. You could face charges for perjury if you lie in court.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Watkins Law Office
    Watkins Law Office | Bob Watkins
    False report TO LAW ENFORCEMENT is a chargeable offense. Your e-mail was to another citizen. It raises interesting issues but does not fit the requirements of False Report. If called to testify you must be properly subpoenaed and if at jeopardy regarding potential admissions of criminal acts, may be entitled to counsel. Any time you are testifying under oath you may want to consult with counsel. Perjury or the admission of a crime may be issues.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC | Rankin Johnson IV
    A false accusation is a crime. If asked to testify that you falsely accused the defendant you should ask the court to appoint counsel, or hire counsel if you can afford it, to decide whether to assert a privilege against self-incrimination. You can do that while you're on the stand testifying during court: "Judge, I think I want an attorney to talk to before answering, so I can decide if I should assert a Fifth Amendment privilege." The judge may not like it, but will probably give you an attorney or time to hire one, or the prosecutor may offer you immunity in which case you can't be prosecuted. You don't really have a choice about testifying; you'll be ordered to do so, and you could be put in jail if you refuse, but you can't be put in jail or otherwise punished if you refuse due to a valid privilege. /s/ Rankin Johnson IV
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Harden Law Offices
    Harden Law Offices | Leonard D. Harden
    You need to talk to a lawyer about the details of your case. It is impossible to advise properly without all details.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    At the very least you could be liable for civil damages and possibily a prsecutor could try to charge you with some sort of lying to th police if you said it intending it to be reported to the police. Get an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Laguzzi Law, P.C.
    Laguzzi Law, P.C. | Carina Laguzzi
    If I understand your question you have been asked to testify by a defendant in a criminal case to admit that you falsely accused him/her of having a drug lab. Is that right? First, you have no duty to appear in court unless you have been subpoenaed. If in fact there is a subpoena you also have a Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate yourself. If in fact you did falsely accuse someone of a crime which you knew at the time was not true, you could be charged with some crimes. You should hire an attorney to discuss this case in detail and then have the attorney whether he/she files a motion to quash your subpoena or presents you in court and has you assert your 5th amendment privilege in court.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Law Offices of Sean Logue
    Law Offices of Sean Logue | Sean Logue
    If you lie in court, you could face perjury charges. If you did send the email for improper purposes, you could also face charges. You should hire an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    You have the 5th Amendment right now to testify to anything that may incriminate yourself. So, when it looks like it is about to go south when you're on the stand, just take the 5th and you'll be fine.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
    First, why are you talking to these people at all? You are not supposed to associate with persons of disreputable character and they sound like they fit the definition. Don't talk to them. You are playing with fire when it comes to your own probation. Second, if you did not call the police, then how did you falsely accuse? Sending an e-mail to the property owner is not making a false allegation. And, how would your sending the e-mail to the person harm them (except if they got raided and their e-mail, etc. read)? If it were a lie, then there would be no problem because there would be no raid and the police would never have found your e-mail. If it is the truth, then arguably you were not trying to harm them but to warn them. What they are asking you to testify to, at least in the way you have relayed it, does not make sense. And, if you lie under oath, you are committing the felony of perjury. (Moreover, if you testify on behalf of some defendant accused of drugs, this is NOT going to sit well with your probation officer and your judge.) If you are seriously considering getting involved (which I think is a BAD idea), then you should consult in person with a lawyer and have representation before you talk with them and before you testify.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Apple Law Firm PLLC
    Apple Law Firm PLLC | David Goldman
    You should speak to a criminal defense lawyer regarding your liability and risks
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    You need to fully discuss the details with a criminal attorney before you make any decisions as to how to proceed. You are in grave jeopardy from several angles here.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    John Segelbaum, P.S.
    John Segelbaum, P.S. | John Segelbaum
    Probably no criminal liability unless you testify falsely under oath. However, you could face civil liability for making the false statement.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Russman Law
    Russman Law | Ryan Russman
    If you filed a false report you could be charged. I would suggest contacting counsel before you testify. Sent from my mobile phone in an attempt to keep you instantly informed
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Connell-Savela
    Connell-Savela | Jason Savela
    Well, testifying falsely is perjury False reporting is a crime - misdemeanor and can revoke your probation. Refusing to testify on the grounds that you may incriminate yourself is your constitutional right and likely what I would suggest if I knew all the facts. They could give you immunity to get your statement, but the court should also appt an attorney to explain those options if you ask (after they give you immunity). BTW - to be served as a witness in criminal court, you must be personally served - meaning that you are face to face with the process server. A mailed subpoena that you do not sign and return is not proper service.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Frances R. Johnson
    Frances R. Johnson | Frances R. Johnson
    You could potentially face repercussion if you lie under oath and are later charged with the offense, thus potentially a probation revocation. You could also potentially face a lawsuit against you, if you lied to the landowner. I am not aware of a criminal offense for lying to a private citizen.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    Well as long as you didn't say anything to the cops, the DEA or any law enforcement I don't see how you broke the law. The person charged could sue you for slander perhaps but, as I understand things, you didn't implicate the person charged.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Law Office of Kathryn L. Hudson
    Law Office of Kathryn L. Hudson | Kathryn L. Hudson
    If you reasonably believed there was methamphetamine on the property your email to the landlord was not improper and there should be no liability on your part and no violation of your probation.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    Your biggest problem is that this guy may off you. You should NOT testify as they will bust you for a false police report and probably perjury if you testify.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/5/2011
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