If you try to get out of an unfortunate police interaction by telling a fib, you may find yourself facing criminal charges for False Reporting to Law Enforcement. In Arizona, you can be charged with False Reporting if you knowingly make a false statement, fraudulent or unfounded report, or misrepresent a fact to a law enforcement agency for the purpose of interfering with the orderly operation of a law enforcement agency or misleading a police officer. This offense is a class 1 misdemeanor in Arizona.
A False Reporting charge may stem from a person giving the police a fake name when pulled over for speeding, or lying about their age in an attempt avoid a minor in possession of alcohol charge. But you may be charged with False Reporting for making statements that are far less sinister. We see clients charged with False Reporting during DUI investigations with relative frequency. The common scenario is that during a traffic stop a police officer will ask a person how much they have had to drink. That person, knowing that they consumed some alcohol before driving, but fearing that the officer is going to arrest them for DUI, will say something along the lines of “I haven’t had anything to drink.” The police officer will conduct their DUI investigation and, if they determine that you in fact had consumed alcohol, they may arrest you for the DUI and False Reporting.
It is never advisable to lie to the police. Most people would be better off politely declining to answer the police officer’s questions, rather than trying to get out of the situation by stretching the truth.
False Reporting to Law Enforcement is a class 1 misdemeanor that may lead to:
In addition to jail, probation and fines, there are collateral consequences to a False Reporting conviction that are not handed down by a judge. The main concern with a False Reporting conviction is that it is a crime involving moral turpitude—a crime involving dishonesty or deceit.
A crime involving moral turpitude can have a negative effect on your employment. Some people may lose their current job or face difficulty finding employment after such a conviction. It can also have an effect on your ability to obtain or hold a professional license or security clearance. Many employers looking to hire people in professional fields, such as medicine, financial, legal, or executive positions will not hire a person with this type of conviction on their record. This is an important consequence to be aware of because it could affect your ability to gain or maintain employment in many fields, including medical, financial or legal fields. Additionally, if you are not a U.S. citizen, a conviction for a crime involving moral turpitude can affect your immigration status by deeming you inadmissible, causing you to be ineligible for a permanent resident card, adjustment of legal status, re-entry, or naturalization.
The Rosenstein Law Group offers free consultations and case evaluations for False Reporting charges. We work to lessen or eliminate the potential consequences that can come with a False Reporting arrest and conviction. We strive to offer the highest level of legal representation to give you the best chance of avoiding a criminal conviction. Contact us at 480-248-7666 or online to schedule your free consultation.