You made the mistake of filing a false police report in Elizabeth, NJ and are now wondering what penalties you might be facing for violating the law. The fact is, it is illegal to knowingly file a fraudulent police report and someone who does so may have criminal charges filed against them. A conviction for filing a police report will result in a criminal record and penalties including a fine, probation, and/or jail. Two common scenarios an individual can be charged for filing a police report that contains false information are described below.
- The first is when a person files a fictitious report. When an individual is found guilty of (1) reporting an offense or other incident to law enforcement officers knowing it did not occur or, (2) pretends to furnish to authorities “information relating to an offense or incident when he knows he has no information relating to such offense or incident,” he/she is guilty of committing a disorderly persons offense. For example, if you accidentally wrecked your vehicle and called the police and reported it as a hit and run, this would be considered a disorderly persons offense. In fact, you could land yourself in hot water with your insurer if you attempted to file an accident claim but blamed the incident on a driver who fled the scene of the accident. You could also be charged with insurance fraud criminally.
What are the penalties for filing a fictitious police report?
Anyone who is found guilty of a disorderly persons offense for filing a fictitious report with police in Elizabeth, or anywhere in NJ, could potentially have to spend up to six months in jail and shall be fined an amount that is considered sufficient to cover the costs associated with an internal investigation of the matter [Source: New Jersey Courts].
- A second way an individual can be charged for filing a false police report is when they do so with the intent to incriminate another. According to §2C:28-4, “A person who knowingly gives or causes to be given false information to any law enforcement officer with purpose to implicate another commits a crime of the fourth degree.” For instance, if you were to call the police to report a burglary and gave the name of someone who was never at your home at the time of the alleged incident, you would be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.
What penalties will I face for filing a false police report that is intended to incriminate another?
Anyone found guilty of committing a crime of the fourth degree in the state of NJ may be sentenced to up to 18 months in jail and may also be required to pay a fine that covers the costs associated with an internal investigation given one was conducted.
If you have been charged with filing a false police report that contained fictitious information or was meant to incriminate another, it is essential that you retain an Elizabeth, NJ criminal defense attorney who can defend your rights and freedom and potentially get your charges reduced or dismissed. The truth is, we all make mistakes and one of this nature could land you in jail, without a job, and having to spend time away from your children and/or significant other. If you are charged with a crime relating to false reports, for your best chance at reducing the charges and/or the penalties, let the Law Office of Eric M. Mark provide you with the legal representation needed to accomplish this.
The Law Office of Eric M. Mark is located at:
201 Washington St.
Newark, NJ 07102
BY APPOINTMENT ONLY:
20 Commerce Drive, Ste. 135
Cranford, NJ 07016
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121 Newark Ave., 5th F.
Jersey City, NJ 07306