Nobody ever wants to be accused of a crime and it’s worse if you never even committed the crime. Criminal convictions carry serious penalties, including heavy fines or jail time. If you have been falsely accused of a crime, you should retain an attorney right away as they will be able to help you.
According to Florida Statute 817.49, whoever provides to a law enforcement officer false information or reports concerning someone of any crime, knowing the information or report is false, even though no such crime had actually been committed, will be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree.
If you are falsely accused, gather all the evidence and as much information as you can surrounding the crime. Be prepared to share everything you remember with your attorney as they can use the information to help you. Do not try and destroy any evidence as this can further hurt your case. You also do not want to speak with anyone, including the person who falsely accused you. This could further complicate the situation.
If you are presented with a criminal charge, consult with your attorney right away. They will go over your options with you, including further investigation into the alleged crime and alibi defenses.
Defenses for False Accusations
If someone is charged with making a false accusation to law enforcement, there are many defenses, with the most common being factual in nature.
Report Not Provably False
When investigating an incident, police will jump to conclusions and pick a side. In making the arrest, the police may press charges against the person they do not believe. When there is evidence to support the defendant’s side, this may dispute the false claims on the report.
Even if the report is false, the prosecution has to establish the defendant knew the information was false. If the defendant was simply mistaken or given the wrong information by someone else, this will provide a powerful defense.
To prove the information was false at trial, the State must establish beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The accused willfully provided false information or a false report;
- Knew the information was false because a crime had not been committed and;
- The false information was given to a police officer.
If you find yourself being falsely accused of a crime, contact Attorney Brandon Gans for a free case evaluation.