Falsely Reporting an Incident in the Third Degree
From the boroughs of New York City to Westchester, Rockland, Putnam and Dutchess counties in the Hudson Valley, the most common charge or offense involving reporting fake crimes and events that never transpired is Falsely Reporting an Incident in the Third Degree. Merely because New York Penal Law 240.50 is the most commonly prosecuted crime of this nature, however, does not in any way mean it isn’t as serious as it is prevalent. An “A” misdemeanor, the penalty for an NY PL 240.50 conviction is potentially as long as one year locked away in New York City’s Rikers Island or, if your case was or is in a neighboring jurisdiction, that respective county jail. No matter what the particulars are of your arrest or the evidence secured by the police or District Attorney, consulting with and retaining a lawyer experienced in defending clients against Third Degree Falsely Reporting an Incident is imperative.
Each subsection of Falsely Reporting an Incident in the Third Degree stems from the same language. No matter the accusation, as a preliminary matter, you are guilty of this crime if you convey information you know to be false, bogus, untrue, or fictitious and you:
- Spread about or initiate a report or warning that is dishonest. This report or warning must be of an alleged or impending occurrence of any type of crime, emergency or catastrophe. Additionally, the New York Penal Law mandates that beyond making a fake representation as described, it is likely that “public alarm or inconvenience will result” from the story you created or shared.
- Make a report, regardless of the manner, to an agency (government or quasi-official), that’s role or job is to deal with emergencies involving danger to property or life. This report must be of a false past occurrence or one that you know will not transpire.
- Report to law enforcement an incident that never transpired, an impending incident that is in fact not about to transpire or false information involving an actual offense.
- Make a report, irrespective of how you do so, to the statewide central registry of child abuse and maltreatment. This report must relate to not merely an unproven occurrence of abuse to a child, whether it is a family member or not, but one that you are aware never really happened.
If your conduct, as alleged by the police and prosecutors, falls into one of the subsections above, know that your joke, prank or wonton and malicious fabrication will not merely land you before a New York City Criminal Court Judge or Town Justice facing a non-expungable misdemeanor charge, but expose you to incarceration or probation. Further, because prosecutors may seek to strengthen the allegations, depending on the nature of the facts presented, it is possible that you will encounter other crimes including misdemeanor or felony Reckless Endangerment. None of these immediate consequences, as significant as they clearly are, begin to touch on the many collateral ramifications from those impacting your immigration status, professional licensing and career.
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The New York criminal lawyers and former Manhattan prosecutors at Saland Law know that being arrested or issued a Desk Appearance Ticket for Falsely Reporting an Incident does not equate to being guilty of the same. Whether it is best to confront the legality and factual basis of the allegations or mitigate your conduct, there is never a substitute for experience, knowledge and advocacy.Call the New York criminal attorneys and former Manhattan prosecutors at (212) 312-7129 or contact us online today.