Will I go to jail for filing a false police report? 50 Answers as of July 03, 2013

I filed a police report stating I was assaulted and robbed. Two days later detectives started asking me questions. I then called the detective later on and asked them to drop the report. The very next day they came out again and I told them the truth. They said nothing will happen just go back to bed and get some sleep. Not even 10 minutes go by and they are back and arrest me. My question is does this call for jail time or can I just get probation and a fine? I have a steady job and am worried about losing it if I go to jail.

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Reza Athari & Associates, PLLC | Seth L. Reszko
If you have no prior criminal history, there is a good chance you will get probation rather than jail time, especially if you work out a deal with the DA to probation.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 12/14/2011
Law office of Robert D. Scott | Robert Scott
Filing a false police report is a crime, subject to incarceration and monetary fines.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 12/6/2011
Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
You need a lawyer to advise you on the criminal case and possible suggest that you have a mental health evaluation to help you figure out why you did this. Whether you get jail time or probation depends on many factors but if you have not been in trouble and no one was arrested, it is most likely you would receive probation at worst.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 12/5/2011
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
I'd recommend you retain a lawyer or, if charged, request a lawyer to represent you paid for at the public's expense. If you need specific legal advice for your particular circumstances, you should privately consult with a lawyer. Speaking generally, the alleged act of filing a false police report may be charged as a criminal offense. However, this type of offense is, comparatively, rarely charged because it is harder for a prosecutor to prove the criminal intent, or "mens rea," or "state of mind" of the alleged defendant with this type of offense as opposed to other charges. Nevertheless, these types of allegations could be charged as felonies or misdemeanors depending on the alleged facts.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 12/1/2011
Law Office of Phillip Weiser
Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
This type of case would most likely call for a probation period and maybe a fine.
Answer Applies to: Kansas
Replied: 12/1/2011
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    If you falsly reported a robbery then the false report can be charged as a felony, which carries up to 4 years in prison. You need an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 12/1/2011
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    False report is a Class B Misdemeanor. You can be sent to jail for up to 180 days (maximum). Will you get probation? Likely, but that all depends on the DA's attitude, your attitude and your criminal past.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 12/1/2011
    Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan
    Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan | Geoffrey M. Yaryan
    Its a misdemeanor so you will get probation but may be required to do jail, work release, or house arrest.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/1/2011
    The Law Office of B. Elaine Jones
    The Law Office of B. Elaine Jones | B. Elaine Jones
    If you have no prior criminal record and you have made no other false police reports, you will likely get probation and some court costs & fines. Possibly be responsible for the expense of police resources to answer the false call. You should not receive any jail time unless you have done this before or have a prior record. Hope this helps you.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 12/1/2011
    Law Offices of James A Bates
    Law Offices of James A Bates | James A Bates
    Going to jail or not depends on your past record, the seriousness of the report you made, did anything bad happen to the person you reported? There is a chance you could receive straight probation or, yes, you could do time.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/30/2011
    Law Office of Michael R. Garber
    Law Office of Michael R. Garber | Michael R. Garber
    You'll probably get a suspended sentence and no actual jail time.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 11/30/2011
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    Making a false report to police is a misdemeanor but is a very serious offense. You could get jail time depending on the nature of the report, whether anyone was arrestd base on your false accusation, how much effrort was expended by the policefollowing your report, and your prior record.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 11/30/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    That is a very serious crime and it shows a judge that you are cruel, vindictive, dishonest, and you have no respect for the innocent person that could have spent 10 years in prison. You disrespected the judicial system and committed perjury. Whether you go to jail or not depends on the city, the judge, your lawyer, your prior record, and the reason that you falsely accused this person. You need to get a good education, a good job, and learn to follow the law and respect other people.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/30/2011
    Caruso & Diaz L.L.C.
    Caruso & Diaz L.L.C. | Natalia Diaz
    You can be charged with a forth degree crime. It can carry up to 18 months in jail. Usually with that type of problem you will get PTI pre trial intervention an be just fine.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 11/30/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    Whether any sentence would include jail time would be determined by the Michigan Sentencing Guidelines. Without more facts, a sentencing score cannot be determined.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/30/2011
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    The charge of filing a false police report has a potential of jail time. However, in the circumstances you describe, my estimate is that the worst of all situations would result in probation. Your bigger concern is having this dishonesty type charge placed on your record. If this is done, you will have future difficulties with getting past background checks for employment or otherwise. This is the greater concern, and the concern which should motivate you to immediately hire an attorney who can assist. Your future ability to work and enjoy the career you choose may be on the line with the handling of this incident on your record.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/30/2011
    Epstein & Conroy
    Epstein & Conroy | David B. Epstein
    Normally you should not go to jail for this offense, but it is not impossible. your biggest worries though should concern collateral consequences. If you are convicted of a crime involving dishonesty your likelihood of being employed is greatly reduced. I think hiring an attorney would be a good investment in this instance.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/30/2011
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    Filing a false report or even giving false information to a police officer is a violation of California penal code section 148.5. (a) Every person who reports to any peace officer that a felony or misdemeanor has been committed, knowing the report to be false , is guilty of a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor is punishable by up to a year in jail and/or a fine or both. If you do not have a criminal record you may get off with a fine and probation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/30/2011
    Law Offices of Louis M. Leibowitz, LLC
    Law Offices of Louis M. Leibowitz, LLC | Louis Leibowitz
    Making a false police report does carry jail time. It is impossible to predict your sentence without knowing more about your case. Sentences depend upon what jurisdiction you are in, who the judge is and what the facts of your case are. You should retain an attorney to protect your rights.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 11/30/2011
    Law Office of Johnny Lai, Inc.
    Law Office of Johnny Lai, Inc. | Johnny Lai
    While the charge of false police report has a maximum penalty which includes possible jail time, depending on the facts and circumstances of the case and your criminal history, a criminal defense attorney may very well be able to help you avoid jail on this type of charge. An experienced criminal attorney can help you negotiate a non-jail sentence or fight the case at trial.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/30/2011
    Betts Legal Services
    Betts Legal Services | Shawn M. Betts
    Generally if you have a clean record, a charge like this would usually only result in probation and a fine.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 11/30/2011
    Anderson Law Office
    Anderson Law Office | Scott L. Anderson
    If you don't have a prior record you may get probation but it depends on the prosecutor, the county and the judge. Get representation immediately.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 11/30/2011
    Shane Law Office
    Shane Law Office | Robert J. Shane
    As long as you have no criminal history, you have a good chance at staying out of jail. The police set you up for a fall when they told you nothing would happen if you simply told the truth about filing a false police report. When you are a defendant in a criminal case, any statements you make can be used to prosecute you. The best defense is not to talk to the police.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 11/30/2011
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq.
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq. | Jeffrey Lawrence Pollock
    A jail sentence may well be within the Sentencing Guidelines for your case, but if you are remorseful, have no criminal record, retain persuasive counsel, etc., then you may well only get Probation or less.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 11/30/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    You may be facing criminal charges and possibly jail or prison time depending on the nature of the false report. If what you falsely reported was a misdemeanor, you will be charged with a misdemeanor. If what you falsely reported was a felony, you will be charged with a felony. If you have no priors, it would be unlikely you would get any jail time but it is still possible. Seek out the advise of an experienced criminal attorney and don't agree to anything or speak further with the police until you have consulted with one.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/30/2011
    The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman
    The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman | Gabriel Dorman
    Whether or not you will end up going to jail for filing a false police report ultimately depends on all of the facts and circumstances involved with the case including any prior criminal history on your part. That being said, if you really want to avoid jail and get the best possible result, I would highly suggest that you hire and experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/30/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    You probably won't have to do too much jail, or none at all, but this record will sting you for at least a decade. If you like your job and making money, you should hire a good defense attorney to make sure you don't plead to this charge to begin with.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/30/2011
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law | Jules Fiani
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/31/2013
    Matthew Cameron Attorney at Law
    Matthew Cameron Attorney at Law | Matt Cameron
    I would need to know more about the circumstances, but filing a false police report is technically punishable by up to one year in the House of Correction. If this is your first offense, however, you should be able to negotiate a plea which does not include jail time. I would strongly recommend that you consult with counsel as soon as possible.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 11/30/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    You could go to jail. But with a lack of record probably not.long. If you can afford an attorney, it would be a good idea to hire an attorney
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/30/2011
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    Filing a false police report is certainly a jailable offense. How much time, if any, depends upon the circumstances of the case and, quite honestly, how much of an inconvenience and financial burden you placed upon the police in their investigation of this matter. You could certainly be required to repay the police department all costs of the investigation. If in your report, you identified a certain person as being responsible and that person was investigated and/or arrested, then that person could also have an independent claim against you for damages he/she suffered. My advice to you is to hire an attorney who can review all the facts of your case and possibly attain for you a satisfactory resolution.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/30/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    Filing a false police report generally does not end in jail time for people with no criminal record. You may be ordered to pay the cost of the officer's time and a fine, but your conduct would have to be pretty egregious to merit jail time. If you named a suspect, that person could sue you for malicious prosecution but that has to do with money.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/30/2011
    DeVito & Visconti, PA
    DeVito & Visconti, PA | John E DeVito
    Filing a false police report should be treated as a serious matter. The person you claimed cause you harm byassaulting and robbing youwas facing a potential felony charge. The police concluded that your actions warranted an arrest. Those facts will not sit well with the court; however, you then admitted your error. If the individual was never charged and because you admitted the false charge, the court will likely mitigate your potential punishment. It is unlikely that you are facing jail and with a good attorney you may be able to avoid a conviction.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 11/30/2011
    Law Office of Charles J. Block
    Law Office of Charles J. Block | Charles J. Block
    I do not have enough information to answer this question as the main issue is what was the degree of your charge?
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 7/3/2013
    Law Office of James S. Lochead
    Law Office of James S. Lochead | James S. Lochead
    If you have no criminal record, the court will likely give you community service and a moderate fine and perhaps order restitution for time the Police spent working on your case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/30/2011
    Law Offices of Paula Drake
    Law Offices of Paula Drake | Paula Drake
    The sentence would depend on a variety of factors (prior record, the facts of the case, the court you are in and prosecutor you are dealing with).
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/3/2013
    Gutin and Wolverton
    Gutin and Wolverton | Harley Gutin
    You should seek counsel immediately. You most likely would get probation but you are facing incarceration and you should be represented.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 11/30/2011
    Thomas C. Brandstrader Attorney At Law | Thomas C. Brandstrader
    Probation is possible but the prosecutors don't like this offense and can sometimes be a bit prickly about it. You should hire competent criminal counsel to represent you.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 11/30/2011
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law | Mark Thiessen
    It's serious. It can result in jail time and probation only comes at the mercy of the judge, DA and the Court. You really need a good attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 11/30/2011
    Law Office of Richard Southard
    Law Office of Richard Southard | Richard C Southard
    Falsely accusing someone of a crime that can send them to jail for up to 25 years is a very serious offense and treated very harshly by the DA's Office. Depending on your prior criminal history, it may be possible to avoid jail with the right criminal lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/30/2011
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    Yes it carries jail time.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/31/2013
    Rothstein Law PLLC
    Rothstein Law PLLC | Eric Rothstein
    Heidi Jones, the former weather person on Channel 7, got a misdemeanor and a massive amount of community service for making a false report that she was raped. I think she also had to pay restitution. She lost her job because if it too.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/29/2011
    Furlong & Drewniak PLLC
    Furlong & Drewniak PLLC | Thaddeus Furlong, Esq.
    Yes, you could get jail time depending on the judge and prosecutor. Maximum 1 year.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 11/29/2011
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    Yes you could go to jail for filing a false report, but it is doubtful, unless they used the information to arrest someone and/or the amount of time they put into the case. A lot depend on your history, the story you told and actions they took in reliance on the story.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 11/29/2011
    Hermiz Law | Madana Hermiz
    Filing a false police report could almost certainly get you jail time. Ultimately, this result would depend upon a number of factors, such as the formal charge, the prosecutor, the jurisdiction, etc. It would be pure speculation at this point to suggest whether or not you would be going to jail. Your best bet would be to contact an attorney for a more certain answer.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/29/2011
    Selleck Legal, PLLC
    Selleck Legal, PLLC | Stacey Selleck
    The penalties can vary in Michigan: According to statute MCL 750.411a False report of crime; violation; penalty; payment of costs by juvenile: (a) If the report is a false report of a misdemeanor, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 93 days or a fine of not more than $500.00, or both. (b) If the report is a false report of a felony, the person is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 4 years or a fine of not more than $2,000.00, or both. I would suggest contacting an attorney for this matter.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/29/2011
    The Law Offices of Jason Chan
    The Law Offices of Jason Chan | Jason Chan
    You could go to jail, but it isn't mandatory.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 11/29/2011
    Law Office of Joe Dane
    Law Office of Joe Dane | Joe Dane
    The outcome of any case depends on all the facts (beyond what you wrote here), your record (if any) and what your attorney can work out. You may have legal defenses, factual defenses or it may come down to trying to keep you out of jail so you don't lose your job. You're definitely going to need the assistance of a good, local criminal defense attorney to help you through this one, though. If you can afford to do so, start looking for a lawyer that routinely practices in the court where your case will be heard. If you cannot afford an attorney, you must appear in court on the day you're supposed to and apply for the services of the public defender.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/29/2011
    Rizio & Nelson
    Rizio & Nelson | John W. Bussman
    It's impossible to tell you whether or not the DA will seek jail time in a case like this, or if they'll even bother to pursue it. Even if they do, you'd probably be eligible for some sort of community service / labor or electronic monitoring (house arrest).
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/29/2011
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