It is a crime to intentionally report a crime knowing that it did not happen. The consequences you face depend on the severity of the false report. A person is guilty of filing a false police report if they:
- Intentionally make a false report or intentionally causes a false report of the commission of a crime to be made
- The false report is made to a peace officer, police agency of the state or local unit of government, 911 operator, or any other governmental employee or contractor or employee of a contractor who is authorized to receive reports of a crime
- The person making the report or causes the report to be made knows the report is false.
Is Filing a False Report a Misdemeanor or Felony?
It depends on what the false report is. If it is a false report of a misdemeanor, then it is a misdemeanor offense punishable by up to 93 days and/or a $500 fine. If it is a false report of a felony, then it is a felony punishable by up to four years in prison and/or a $2,000 fine.
Heightened Punishment for False Reports Causing Injury or Death
The consequences are more severe for filing false police reports that cause someone to be injured, suffer a serious impairment of a bodily function, or death. The injury or death must have occurred as a proximate result of lawful conduct in response to address the reported crime. If the false police report results in physical injury, that person is guilty of a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine. If the false police report results in a serious impairment of a bodily function, that person is guilty of a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a $25,000 fine. If the false police report results in death, that person is guilty of a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and/or a fine of at least $25,000 but no more than $50,000.
It is not enough that someone reported a crime that turned out to be false. To be guilty of this offense, that person must have intentionally made or caused to be made such a report knowing that it was false. If the person had a good faith belief that a crime was occurring or had occurred and turned out to be wrong, that person is not guilty of this offense. If the charge involves filing a false police report involving an injury, serious bodily impairment, or death, it must have occurred as a proximate cause of the false police report.
Lansing Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with filing a false police report, you need an experienced and dedicate advocate to fight for you. Call Austin Legal Services, PLC today at (517) 614-1983 to speak to a criminal defense attorney today!
Defending charges of filing a false police report throughout Michigan in the counties of Ingham, Eaton, Clinton, Gratiot, Livingston, Kent, Jackson, Shiawassee, Washtenaw in the cities of Lansing, East Lansing, Mason, Charlotte, St. Johns, Ithaca, Howell, Brighton, Grand Rapids, Jackson, Corunna, Ann Arbor.