False Report to a Peace Officer

In Texas, making a false report to a peace officer is not just a matter of words—it’s a legal offense with significant consequences. Let’s take a closer look at the details in Texas Penal Code Section 37.08 and understand the possible charges, penalties, and long-term effects people might deal with if they’re accused of this offense.

In accordance with Texas Penal Code Section 37.08, the crime of false reporting to a peace officer, federal special investigator, or law enforcement employee is outlined as follows:

(a) A person commits an offense if, with the intention to deceive, they deliberately furnish false information that is material to a criminal investigation.

(1) This offense applies when providing false information to a peace officer or federal special investigator who is actively conducting the investigation.

(2) Additionally, the offense encompasses intentionally providing false information to any employee of a law enforcement agency authorized by the agency to conduct the investigation, provided the actor is aware that such an investigation is ongoing.

(3) Moreover, a personnel member of a correctional facility or a jail.

(b) In this context, the term “law enforcement agency” is defined as per the specifications outlined in Article 59.01 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

(c) Committing an offense under this section constitutes a Class B misdemeanor offense.

How Do I Get Charged with a False Report to a Peace Officer in Texas?

In Texas, if you purposefully say something untrue that’s important to a criminal investigation, you might get charged with making a false report to a peace officer. This covers instances where your false statement makes the officer think a crime happened. It also makes it hard for them to keep things in order and investigate.

The offense is typically a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by fines and potential imprisonment. If the false report involves an official or volunteer agency organized to deal with emergencies, such as a bomb threat, the offense may be elevated to a Class A misdemeanor or even a state jail felony. This depends on the circumstances.

Legal Consequences of False Reports

When it comes to false reports or alert to peace officers, the legal repercussions can be substantial. People who break the rules might have to deal with various punishments, like fines, probation, or even going to jail. How harsh the consequences are depends on how serious the false report was.

Class B Misdemeanor: In most cases, making a false report to a peace officer is considered a Class B misdemeanor. If convicted, you may face a fine of up to $2,000 and up to 180 days in jail.

Class A Misdemeanor or State Jail Felony: Falsely reporting to trick a police officer on a missing person case can be treated as a more serious crime. Specifically, it could be classified as a Class A misdemeanor. Also, if your false report involves a crime, bomb threat, or public disaster announcement, you could face more severe charges. This may potentially lead to a state jail felony.

Additional Consequences

Restitution: In addition to fines and imprisonment, a court may order restitution. This means you may be required to compensate any entity that incurred expenses as a result of the false report.

Criminal Record: Falsely reporting to a police officer and being found guilty means you’ll have a criminal record. Consequently, this can lead to lasting issues, affecting job opportunities, housing, and more.

Arrested? Don’t Plea, Call Me!

A false report in Texas has life-changing consequences under Penal Code Section 37.08. If you’re accused of something, remember that a good lawyer who knows about criminal defense can be your friend. They can help make a plan to defend you and guide you through the legal problems that might happen.

An experienced lawyer is like an important friend in the legal world. First of all, they know how to understand the complicated parts of the law. They can create a strong defense plan just for you, making sure to consider all the details of your case. Additionally, they are skilled at helping you through the difficulties that are coming your way. They understand the gravity of the situation, recognizing how serious it is. Moreover, they’re aware of the potential legal repercussions, and most importantly, they know how to effectively advocate for your rights.