What Are the Charges for Filing a False Police Report?

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According to the law offices of Gilbert and Smallman in Miami, Fla., filing a false police report is a serious criminal offense in which most individuals accused of the crime face felony charges. Felony convictions lead to up to five years in jail and a $5,000 fine. Misdemeanor charges are punishable by no more than 364 days in jail and fines up to $500. It's illegal virtually everywhere, but punishments vary from state to state.

The Noonan Defense Firm in Massachusetts explains that anyone found guilty of filing a false police report in the state of Massachusetts faces a fine of $500 and up to one year in a correctional facility. In order for a conviction to take place, the prosecuting attorneys must prove that the defendant did something to cause a false report to be made or made a false report to a law enforcement officer. Prosecutors must also prove that the defendant intentionally reported the crime with the knowledge that it was false.

According to Intermountain Legal in Utah, filing a false police report in the state of Utah is considered a class B misdemeanor, and penalties include fines and jail time. The law extends beyond filing false police reports. It is also illegal to report false crimes to social workers, counselors and therapists, as well as providing false information when applying for a license.