Have you Been Charged with Making a False Statement to the Police in Georgia?
While giving a false statement to the police may not seem as serious of a crime as murder or robbery, it will still have consequences on your life. If you or a loved one have been charged with giving a false report of a crime, contact our offices today. Lawson and Berry have over 50 years of criminal experience and have handled all types of cases. They are here to give you advice and help you reach a favorable outcome in your case. Don't delay, contact our offices today.
Georgia Law O.C.G.A. §16-10-20
A person will be guilty of making a false statement when they knowingly and willfully falsify, conceal, or cover up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact; make a false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation in any matter within the jurisdiction of any department or agency of state government or of the government of any county, city, or other political subdivision of this state.
Georgia Case Law
In the case of Sneiderman v. State, the defendant was convicted of violating O.C.G.A. §16-10-20. 336 Ga. App. 153, (2016). The defendant, Angela Sneiderman, was having a romantic relationship with Neuman. When Angela's husband was killed, she knowingly and willfully concealed her relationship with Neuman from the officers. Furthermore, she denied that she was with Neuman on a particular date when the evidence proved that she was. The court found that her relationship with Neuman was a material fact in the case since Neuman killed her husband. The evidence showed that Angela acted intentionally in hiding that fact knowing it was material. Therefore, she was convicted of concealing facts from the police.
Penalty for Making a False Statement to the Police in Georgia
A person convicted of giving a false statement to the police will receive a fine up to $1,000 or prison between one and five years, or both.
Defenses in Georgia
Accident: If a suspect mistakenly left out an important detail or accidentally misinterpreted the situation, that could be a defense. False statements require that the defendant knowingly and willingly falsifies information. Therefore, if there is no evidence that it was done intentionally, then they cannot be guilty of the crime.
I didn't realize it was a material fact: If the suspect honestly did not think it was a material fact and did not intentionally hide the information, that could be an adequate defense.
The statement was not made to an employee of the government: If a false statement was made to a neighbor or someone who does not work for the government, then it does not constitute a crime under this statute.
What are Not Defenses
I didn't make a false statement: To be convicted under O.C.G.A. §16-10-20, the false statements do not have to be spoken. False documents will be sufficient for a conviction.
Call The Offices of Lawson and Berry and speak with one of our Georgia Criminal Defense Attorneys to schedule a free consultation. Formulating a defense on your own can be overwhelming and seemingly impossible. Our Attorneys are highly knowledgeable and will assist you in formulating the best possible defense for your case. We will walk you through every step of the process, and we are dedicated to being accessible to you- days, nights, weekends, and holidays while working hard on your behalf. Your Attorney will make sure you understand all of your options and advise you on the best approach to take for your case based on their many years of experience. Don't wait to contact one of our Lawyers. Your future is at stake. Do not sit around waiting for your case to resolve itself.