If you are thinking that you have fallen victim to a false police report, you’ll need to do some research on the penal codes surrounding this issue. The constitution provides you with rights and the penal codes define the laws in the constitution that protect you. Let’s take a look at the details about a false report and what you can do to protect yourself.
A False report is when an individual or a police officer gives a report of an incident that is not 100% accurate. For example, if an officer writes in his report that you had drugs in your pocket, but you did not have any drugs on your person, that is false reporting. There are serious consequences for officers who file a false report because it can create interference with a court case and even prove lack of integrity of the officer.
These statutes must exist for a prosecutor to convict an officer on a false reporting charge:
· These statutes must exist for a prosecutor to convict an officer on a false reporting charge.
· The defendant must be an officer and write the report while in his official position.
· The defendant must have written a report with the intent to lie (i.e. criminal manner).
· The report must contain false information regarding a material matter.
· The officer had to have written the misinformation while knowing it was false.
A false arrest typically precedes a false police report. By definition, a false arrest prevents an individual from exercising their liberties that are outlined in the constitution. Three things are typical for an arrest:
· An individual’s freedom to move is stripped.
· Forcing of an individual to be under some type of imprisonment.
· Consent was not given.
Although most people think of an arrest as a physically restraining process, it can also include mental manipulation such as threats, fraud, and blackmail. If an officer partakes in any of these actions that restrict the individual’s ability to exercise their rights, he can be held liable.
Once you have realized that there is a discrepancy in the police report, penal code 118.1 will be the way to defend your rights. A good criminal defense lawyer will investigate this code and file a motion if it is appropriate. PC 118.1 states:
“Every peace officer who files any report with the agency which employs him or her regarding the commission of any crime or any investigation of any crime, if he or she knowingly and intentionally makes any statement regarding any material matter in the report which the officer knows to be false, whether or not the statement is certified or otherwise expressly reported as true, is guilty of filing a false report punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for up to one year, or in the state prison for one, two, or three years.”
If an officer is found guilty of false reporting, it can either be a misdemeanor or a felony. If they are found guilty of a misdemeanor, they can end up in jail for a maximum of one year or they can be put on misdemeanor probation. If the false reporting is worse and the officer is charged with a felony, they will have a maximum of three years in prison or felony probation.