False Reports to Law Enforcement Authorities

Pittsburgh False Reports Defense Attorney

In Pennsylvania, making a false report to law enforcement authorities is a serious criminal offense that may be prosecuted as either a second-degree or third-degree misdemeanor based on the circumstances.

If you’ve been charged with making a false report, it’s important that you get in touch with an experienced Pittsburgh false reports defense attorney who can help you navigate the challenges of criminal litigation.  Contact McKinney Law for skilled defense guidance.

What constitutes a false report can be confusing, so let’s explore the basics.

Understanding the Basics of the Offense

Under Pennsylvania law, the false reports to law enforcement authorities offense can be split into two sub-offenses (falsely incriminating another and fictitious reports) each with different elements and penalties.

Falsely Incriminating Another

False incrimination is the more serious of the two sub-offenses.  False incrimination is prosecuted as a second-degree misdemeanor with penalties of up to two years imprisonment and fines of up to $5,000.  A person may be held liable for false incrimination if they knowingly give false information to any law enforcement officer with intent to implicate another person.

For example, if you are attempting to avoid liability for having been in possession of illegal drugs, you might tell law enforcement officers that the drugs actually belonged to your roommate.  If the statement is false, you could be held liable for falsely incriminating another.

Fictitious Reports

Fictitious reports is prosecuted as a third-degree misdemeanor with penalties of up to one-year imprisonment and up to $2,500 in fines.  A person may be held liable for making a fictitious report if they:

  1. Report to law enforcement authorities an offense or other incident within their concern knowing that it did not occur; or
  2. Pretend to furnish such authorities with information relating to an offense or incident when he knows he has no information relating to such offense or incident.

Fundamentally, fictitious reports involve events that did not actually occur – they do not require incrimination of another person.  For example, if you lie to a group of police officers and tell them that a bank is being robbed down the street (perhaps as a misguided joke), that statement would qualify as a fictitious report offense.

How Unsworn Falsification Fits Together

The false reports offense is quite similar to that of unsworn falsification , and in fact, those who are charged with having made a false report to law enforcement authorities may also be charged with unsworn falsification (depending on the circumstances).  Whereas unsworn falsification involves an untrue written statement to a public authority, the false reports offense is associated with any form of false information, written or oral.

Schedule a Free and Confidential Consultation With a Pittsburgh False Reports Defense Attorney at McKinney Law

If you’ve been charged with making a false report to law enforcement authorities, you could be facing significant penalties.  This is further enhanced if prosecutors bring an additional charge against you for unsworn falsification.  We can help defend you in the criminal litigation that follows.

Here at McKinney Law, our attorneys have a long track record of success in guiding criminal defendants through the litigation process.  We have extensive experience working with those who have been charged with various criminal offenses, including false reports to law enforcement authorities.

If you’d like to speak to a Pittsburgh false reports defense attorney about your case, we encourage you to call (412) 520-3301 or submit a case evaluation form online. Consultation is free and confidential.