Falsely Reporting an Incident in the Third Degree

The most common charge or crime involving reporting fake crimes is Falsely Reporting an Incident in the Third Degree. Merely because New York Penal Law 240.50 is the most common offense, however, does not in any way mean it isn’t serious. An “A” misdemeanor, NY PL 240.50 is punishable by up to one year in jail. For crimes committed in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens or anywhere in New York City, the time spent incarcerated would be at Rikers Island. Obviously, consulting with an experienced New York criminal lawyer to avoid a life long conviction (it will not be expunged) or a jail sentence is something that any accused individual should pursue at the earliest possible time.

Falsely Reporting an Incident in the Third Degree

Each subsection of Falsely Reporting an Incident in the Third Degree stems from the same language. You are guilty of this crime if you convey information you know to be false and you:

  1. Circulate or initiate a report or warning that is false. This report or warning must be of an alleged or impending occurrence of a crime, emergency or catastrophe. Additionally, it must not be unlikely that “public alarm or inconvenience will result.”

  2. 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.

  3. 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 or to the alleged implication of some person therein.

  4. Make a report, regardless of the manner, to the statewide central register of child abuse and maltreatment of an alleged occurrence of abuse to a child that did not actually happen.

If your conduct, as alleged by the police and prosecutors, falls into one of the subsections above, do not be surprised if that mistake of pulling a fire alarm lands you before a New York criminal court judge. Further, because prosecutors may seek to strengthen the allegations, it would not be surprising if you were also charged with Reckless Endangerment in the Second Degree. Fortunately, however, 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, ascertain and implement your defense as soon as you are able.

Call the New York criminal attorneys and former Manhattan prosecutors at (212) 312-7129 or contact us online today.

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