Falsely Reporting an Incident
There are plenty of crimes found throughout the New York Penal Law that based on a mere arrest and allegation before being proven beyond a reasonable doubt, anger prosecutors and judges alike. While law enforcement – from detectives with the NYPD and Brooklyn Assistant District Attorneys to police officers in the City of Greenburgh and the Westchester County District Attorney – is often unsympathetic to those accused of crimes involving malicious or violent acts, these same people and professionals also take a harsh stance against those accused of other crimes that can have a negative impact on members of the community they are sworn to protect and law enforcement themselves. While Falsely Reporting an Incident, New York Penal Law sections 240.50, 240.55 and 240.60, can at times be “chalked up” to a foolish mistake or a sophomoric prank, this set of crimes certainly falls into the realm of non-violent offenses that may spark the ire of Assistant District Attorneys and judges while also having extremely serious ramifications to the accused well beyond what happens in a courtroom.
- Falsely Reporting an Incident in the Third Degree: NY PL 240.50
- Falsely Reporting an Incident in the Second Degree: NY PL 240.55
- Falsely Reporting an Incident the First Degree: NY PL 240.60
The reason why New York criminal lawyers are often shouldered with a burden when defending clients against Falsely Reporting an Incident. Whether it is from the mouth of a prosecutor or that of a judge, the statements are the same. That is, why would your client pull the fire alarm? Your client knew the danger that existed when or if people were forced to evacuate. Assistant District Attorneys will further assert that even if nobody fled, the fire department is mandated to come and respond to an incident. Costs aside, and danger that these services were needed elsewhere is unacceptable. Only a small fraction of Falsely Reporting an Incident crime, other misrepresentations can be equally or more harmful. Where a false claim of a theft, violent crime, domestic violence or abduction is made, the consequences can be dire. Again, outside of the time and money expended by law enforcement on a bogus claim, an innocent person may be placed in custody and incarcerated without cause.
The bottom line is simple. If you commit any degree of Falsely Reporting an Incident, you and your criminal lawyer will need to assess what defenses are available to you, how you can challenge or mitigate the allegations and the best means to implement your defense. Was this an accident? How soon after making the false report did you “come clean?” Did you in fact believe there was an incident? Was your belief reasonable? Even if you did make a fictitious report, can the District Attorney prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt?
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It is critically important to recognize that Falsely Reporting an Incident can either be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. As such, it is punishable by up to one year in jail and as much as up to seven years in state prison. Regardless of the degree, sometimes these crimes are accompanied by other offenses including misdemeanor or felony Reckless Endangerment.
Do not be under the mistaken impression that a Falsely Reporting an Incident arrest in New York City or in any county or municipality in the Hudson Valley will merely “go away.” Educate yourself on the law. Retain counsel to identify and implement your defense.
When there is no alternative to advocacy, knowledge and experience, contact the criminal defense attorneys and former Manhattan prosecutors at Saland Law
Call the New York criminal lawyers and former Manhattan prosecutors at (212) 312-7129 or contact us online today.