In the Phoenix area, or anywhere else in the State of Arizona, per A.R.S. §13-2907 and §13-2907.01, False Reporting is a crime that occurs when someone makes a false report that involves a fire, offense, bombing or some other type of emergency with full knowledge that it is not happening. The individual guilty of the crime has the intent to create a ruckus that brings about the police and other emergency workers to get involved to investigate the situation. In many cases, when someone commits the crime of false reporting, they are looking to place people in jeopardy of physical injury or create a problem for people to occupy a specific public place or building. Most commonly, it is charged when an individual makes a false statement to the police even though they know they are misrepresenting a fact. The intention is to interfere with investigation proceedings and often takes place when a person gives a police officer a fake name or lies about having certain substances or items in their possession.
Penalties for False Reporting
The level of violation the crime of false reporting generally carries is considered a class one misdemeanor. Punishment for a class one misdemeanor can include probation with no jail time served or as much as six months of time spent in jail. On top of that, there is typically a fine of up to $2,500 that includes an 84 percent surcharge placed on the defendant.
There are additional reasons a person might be charged with this offense. In many instances, an officer can place this charge on someone if they become upset while questioning them. An example is that if a person is picked up for DUI and claims to have drank only one beer but their alcohol reading is considerably higher than the legal limit. The officer may add the false reporting crime to their charges. An officer can add this charge when they simply do not believe a story the individual told them.
Defenses for False Reporting
Several defenses for the crime of false reporting can be used. First of all, it is absolutely important to have the services of a criminal lawyer if you are accused. A common type of defense is the Miranda rights violation in which the individual was arrested but not read their Miranda rights, which is mandatory in Arizona and any other state. A defendant may also make an admission of guilt even when they are not guilty due to intimidation tactics or coercion on the part of the police. Another common defense that the criminal lawyer can use is “denial of right to counsel”, which means that the individual requested to speak with a lawyer when taken into custody but was not granted that right. Additional defenses include forensic flaws made during the investigation that show discrepancies within the evidence that can prove the defendant’s innocence and false statements confirmed in misleading police reports.
If you have been suspected of the crime of False Reporting in Arizona, you’ll want to have an aggressive attorney on your side. David Michael Cantor has been designated a Certified Criminal Law Specialist by the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization and his firm has been AV® rated (highest rating possible) by Martindale-Hubbell®. To schedule a free consultation with an attorney, please give our offices a call 24 hours a day at (602) 737-2812 or send us an email by using our confidential form.