Anytime a person gives false or incorrect information to the Denver Police or a Jefferson, Adams, or El Paso County Sheriff, a False Reporting to Authorities charge may be filed. This does not mean you have to talk to these agencies about an offense or incident. It just means you cannot lie to them and provide false information. If a government official (police, fire department, EMTs, etc) asks for your basic identifying information, you are required to provide your correct name and address. You are not required to answer questions about any incidents or try to explain yourself. You have the right to remain silent and lying to the police will just make things worse.
While you do have the right to remain silent when speaking with the police, you are required to tell the truth about identifying information.
What is False Reporting to Authorities in Colorado?
There are a number of different situations Colorado law considers to be False Reporting to Authorities – C.R.S. 18-8-111. A person can be charged with False Reporting to Authorities if he or she:
1.Sets off a fire or another emergency alarm causing emergency responders to respond knowing the alarm is false; or
2.Deactivates or prevents a fire alarm or another emergency alarm from going off and alerting emergency responders; or
3.Reports a crime or another incident which he knows did not occur; or
4.Offers or reports false information regarding a crime or incident which he has no such information or knows the information is false; or
5.Provides false identifying information to law enforcement.
What is the Sentence for False Reporting?
In most circumstances in Douglas, Arapahoe, and Boulder County, False Reporting is a class 3 misdemeanor offense. This level misdemeanor has a potential maximum jail sentence of up to 6 months and fines of up to $750. However, this charge is increased to a class 2 misdemeanor if the False Reporting is committed during the commission of another criminal offense, such as Theft. Class 2 misdemeanors have a possible jail sentence of 6 to 12 months and $250 to $1,000 in fines.
Examples of False Reporting in Denver
Many times in Littleton, Highlands Ranch and Aurora, people panic when the police become involved in a situation. We have defended clients who gave the police a fake name to try and avoid getting a ticket or having other charges brought against them. We have also worked with clients who have reported a crime falsely accusing their ex – boyfriend or neighbor in an act of revenge. If the False Reporting was filed against an ex, the Domestic Violence sentence enhancer may be added.
When it comes to police involved crimes, judges and juries tend to be biased, which is why it is wise to work with a lawyer.
Why You Need a Lawyer for Charges of False Reporting to Authorities
If you've been charged with False Reporting, don't hesitate to contact an aggressive criminal defense lawyer who can advocate on your behalf. When it comes to crimes involving the police, DAs, judges, and juries tend to be biased. Don't stand alone in the courtroom – work with a skilled and affordable defense attorney to ensure you get the best possible outcome in your case. Here at O'Malley and Sawyer, LLC, we fight to win.
Colorado False Reporting Statute: C.R.S. 18-8-111
“A person commits false reporting to authorities if:
(a) He or she knowingly:
(I) Causes by any means, including but not limited to activation, a false alarm of fire or other emergency or a false emergency exit alarm to sound or to be transmitted to or within an official or volunteer fire department, ambulance service, law enforcement agency, or any other government agency which deals with emergencies involving danger to life or property; or
(II) Prevents by any means, including but not limited to deactivation, a legitimate fire alarm, emergency exit alarm, or other emergency alarm from sounding or from being transmitted to or within an official or volunteer fire department, ambulance service, law enforcement agency, or any other government agency that deals with emergencies involving danger to life or property; or
(b) He makes a report or knowingly causes the transmission of a report to law enforcement authorities of a crime or other incident within their official concern when he knows that it did not occur; or
(c) He makes a report or knowingly causes the transmission of a report to law enforcement authorities pretending to furnish information relating to an offense or other incident within their official concern when he or she knows that he or she has no such information or knows that the information is false; or
(d) He or she knowingly provides false identifying information to law enforcement authorities.”