I have been charged with filling a false police report. Situation: My husband and I got into a physical fight. I left the house, upset and drove to the police station. I parked the car and called my husband, because I really didn't want to go in...just thinking about what to do. As I was speaking to my husband, a police officer came up to the window. Saw I was upset, smoking, talking on the phone and had two black eyes. He asked me to come in the station -- I said no --but he said I had to. In the station he asked what happened, I said my husband had got physical with me, etc, but I didn't want to press charges, he said it didn't matter, he had to file a report and arrest him. I said I didn't want him arrested, but just wanted them to make him leave...they essentially said too bad. At any rate the police man asked later in during the interation if I had been drinking, I said yes around 11-12mn...this situation (at the police station) was around 5am. At any rate, they had me do a breath test...I blew 0.113. At this point the said they were taking me back to the house since they didn't want me to drive and they were going to arrest my husband...at this point I said I didn't want him arrested and I never wanted a report against him and I'd retract all I said.. We got to the house, the confronted my husband with my elligations and he denied them... During my initial altercation with my husband, after the physical stuff, I kinda had a break down... I was screaming etc...sitting on the basement steps putting my head up and down on the rail to try & scare him, wake up my kids, so the physical stuff would not continue. My husband video tapped me doing this, mind you an hour or so after the initial altercation...so long story short when the police asked him if he hit me he said no and "played" the video to policeman stating I caused the injuries to myself. So the DA said no prob cause to arrest him for assault and today I got a paper in the mail staing I am being charged with a making a false police report!!! I think this is crazy. I never wanted a police report filed in the first place...I did not lie about anything I told the police, and in fact begged the police not to arrest my husband. Just because the police in this instance decided to play bmedical doctors and come to the conclusion I was lying...believe my husband...how can they say I filed a false police report?
1 Answer from Attorneys
The police are permitted to do this. However, the burden of proof is on them to prove that you did in fact intentionally file a false report. I would suggest that you not make any further statements to the police.
This likely was charged as a misdemeanor in the second degree. An M2 carries a maximum penalty of 1 - 2 years in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000.00. Various factors are considered when the judges decides what sentence to impose, the biggest factor is your past criminal record. If you have no prior criminal record, the guidelines would permit the judge to sentence you to just probation. Of course, if the charges end up being withdrawn or you end up being found not guilty, then you wouldn't need to worry about the sentence. Also, there are various alternatives here. For example, if you have no prior criminal record, some counties may permit you to do the ARD program and avoid a conviction.or your attorney may be able get the DA to modify the charges to something less severe.
It is critical that you retain an attorney as soon as possible. If you haven't already retained a lawyer, please feel free to contact me. My firm handles criminal matters throughout most counties in PA.
Justin C. Gearty Jr., Esquire
Owner and Managing Attorney
Gearty Law Offices
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