Penal Code 148.5 PC – Making a False Police Report in California
Can Police Lye on Affidavits – Short Answer, NO!
Not if they Value their Career & Freedom and Don’t want civil responsibility
Police have no expectation of privacy on phone calls. Police lines are recorded expectations end there!
Penal Code 148.5 PC prohibits you from making a false police report of a crime. False reporting is only a crime if the person making the report knows it to be false. The offense is punishable by up to 6 months in jail.
We will quote the full language of the statute, and then provide legal analysis below:
148.5. (a) Every person who reports to any peace officer listed in Section 830.1 or 830.2, or subdivision (a) of Section 830.33, the Attorney General, or a deputy attorney general, or a district attorney, or a deputy district attorney that a felony or misdemeanor has been committed, knowing the report to be false, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
(b) Every person who reports to any other peace officer, as defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2, that a felony or misdemeanor has been committed, knowing the report to be false, is guilty of a misdemeanor if (1) the false information is given while the peace officer is engaged in the performance of his or her duties as a peace officer and (2) the person providing the false information knows or should have known that the person receiving the information is a peace officer.
(c) Except as provided in subdivisions (a) and (b), every person who reports to any employee who is assigned to accept reports from citizens, either directly or by telephone, and who is employed by a state or local agency which is designated in Section 830.1, 830.2, subdivision (e) of Section 830.3, Section 830.31, 830.32, 830.33, 830.34, 830.35, 830.36, 830.37, or 830.4, that a felony or misdemeanor has been committed, knowing the report to be false, is guilty of a misdemeanor if (1) the false information is given while the employee is engaged in the performance of his or her duties as an agency employee and (2) the person providing the false information knows or should have known that the person receiving the information is an agency employee engaged in the performance of the duties described in this subdivision.
(d) Every person who makes a report to a grand jury that a felony or misdemeanor has been committed, knowing the report to be false, is guilty of a misdemeanor. This subdivision shall not be construed as prohibiting or precluding a charge of perjury or contempt for any report made under oath in an investigation or proceeding before a grand jury.
(e) This section does not apply to reports made by persons who are required by statute to report known or suspected instances of child abuse, dependent adult abuse, or elder abuse.
(f) This section applies to a person who reports to a person described in subdivision (a), (b), or (c), that a firearm, as defined in subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 16520, has been lost or stolen, knowing the report to be false.
- lying to police that a neighbor trespassed (a crime under Penal Code 602 PC).
- telling a DA investigator that an ex was a prostitute (a crime under Penal Code 647b PC).
- lying to officers, during an investigation, that one person assaulted someone else
Several criminal defense strategies can be employed to attack the charges in court. Common defenses include showing that the defendant:
- had a good faith belief that the crime really did happen
- did not make a report to the “authorities,” and/or
- was falsely accused.
A violation of this law is a misdemeanor under California state law. The criminal offense is punishable by:
- custody in county jail for up to six months, and/or
- a maximum fine of $1,000.
A judge can award misdemeanor (or summary) probation in lieu of jail time.
Our California criminal defense attorneys will explain the following in this article:
- 1. When is it a crime to make a false police report in California?
- 2. What are the best criminal defense strategies?
- 3. What are the 148.5 PC penalties?
- 4. Does this offense give a person a criminal record?
- 5. Are there related offenses?
1. When is it a crime to make a false police report in California?
A prosecutor has to prove the following in order to convict a person under this statute:
- the defendant made a false report of a misdemeanor or felony, and
- the accused made the report to a certain “authority.”1
“Authority” under this statute means a:
- police officer,
- grand jury, or
- state or local employee assigned to accept reports from citizens (like a 911 operator).
Note that this law applies to when a person contacts the police and makes a false report. It also applies when:
- a third party reports a crime to the police initially, and
- the defendant then gives a false statement when the police investigate the matter.2
Example: Colleen sees her brother in a fist fight with a neighbor. Her brother started it by just going up to the kid (Billy) and punching him. Someone in the neighborhood calls the police. The cops ask Colleen for a statement and she says, “Billy started it. He just started hitting and kicking my brother.”
Here, Colleen is guilty under PC 148.5. This is true even though she was not the first party to report the fight. She reported false information to the police about a criminal matter.
2. What are the best criminal defense strategies?
A defendant can try to beat a criminal charge under this statute with a good legal defense to raise a reasonable doubt.
Three common defenses are to show that:
- the defendant had a good faith belief that a report was true,
- the accused made a false report to someone other than an “authority,” and/or
- the defendant was falsely accused.
2.1. Good faith belief that the report is true
This statute only applies when the person making a report knows it to be false. It is always a defense if the accused had a good faith belief that a report was true, even if that belief turns out to be a mistake.
2.2. Report not made to “authorities”
A person is only guilty under these laws if he made a false report to some type of authoritative figure, such as a police officer. This means it is a defense for a defendant to say he did not make a report to the “authorities.” Perhaps, for example, the accused just lied to store security that he had witnessed a person shoplifting.
2.3. Falsely accused
Unfortunately, people get falsely accused of this crime on numerous occasions. Neighbors, ex-friends, and others, make up stories about a defendant making a false report. The defense is always available, then, that the accused was unjustly blamed.
3. What are the 148.5 PC penalties?
A violation of this law is a misdemeanor.
The punishment for filing a false police report can include:
- custody in county jail (as opposed to state prison) for up to six months, and/or
- a maximum fine of $1,000.3
4. Does this offense give a person a criminal record?
Yes, if it results in a conviction. However, a person can get an expungement if convicted of making a false report. An expungement is favorable since it erases many of the burdens of a conviction.
A judge will grant an expungement if a convicted party successfully completes:
- probation, or
- his jail term (whichever was imposed).
5. Are there related offenses?
There are three crimes related to making a false report of a crime. These are:
- false report of an emergency – PC 148.3,
- false report of a fire – PC 148.4, and
- false identification to a police officer – PC 148.9
5.1. False report of an emergency – PC 148.3
Penal Code 148.3 PC is the California law making it a crime to falsely report an emergency.
An “emergency” is any condition that might (or does) trigger:
- the response of an emergency vehicle, aircraft or vessel,
- the evacuation of any area, building, structure, vehicle, or of any other place, or
- an Amber alert.
5.2. False report of a fire – PC 148.4
Penal Code 148.4 PC is the California law making it a crime to make false reports of a fire.
Specifically, this section prohibits:
- tampering with or breaking fire alarms,
- triggering a false fire alarm, and
- making a false report of a fire.
5.3. False identification to a police officer – PC 148.9
Penal Code 148.9 PC is the California statute that makes it crime for a person to:
- provide false identification to a police officer, and
- do so knowing that it is false identification.
Note that “false identification” includes giving law enforcement officers a false birth date.4
To Learn More…. Read MORE Below and click the links
Learn More About True Threats Here below….
We also have the The Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969) – 1st Amendment
CURRENT TEST = We also have the The ‘Brandenburg test’ for incitement to violence – 1st Amendment
We also have the The Incitement to Imminent Lawless Action Test– 1st Amendment
We also have the True Threats – Virginia v. Black is most comprehensive Supreme Court definition – 1st Amendment
We also have the Watts v. United States – True Threat Test – 1st Amendment
We also have theClear and Present Danger Test – 1st Amendment
We also have theGravity of the Evil Test – 1st Amendment
We also have the Elonis v. United States (2015) – Threats – 1st Amendment
Learn More About What is Obscene….
We also have the Miller v. California – 3 Prong Obscenity Test (Miller Test) – 1st Amendment
We also have the Obscenity and Pornography – 1st Amendment
Learn More About Police, The Government Officials and You….
We also have theBrayshaw v. City of Tallahassee – 1st Amendment – Posting Police Address
We also have thePublius v. Boyer-Vine –1st Amendment – Posting Police Address
We also have the Lozman v. City of Riviera Beach, Florida (2018) – 1st Amendment – Retaliatory Police Arrests
We also have the Nieves v. Bartlett (2019) – 1st Amendment – Retaliatory Police Arrests
We also have the Freedom of the Press – Flyers, Newspaper, Leaflets, Peaceful Assembly – 1st Amendment
We also have the Insulting letters to politician’s home are constitutionally protected, unless they are ‘true threats’ – 1st Amendment
We also have the Introducing TEXT & EMAILDigital Evidencein California Courts – 1st Amendment
We also have the First Amendment Encyclopedia very comprehensive – 1st Amendment
ARE PEOPLE LYING ON YOU? CAN YOU PROVE IT? IF YES…. THEN YOU ARE IN LUCK!
We also have the Penal Code 118 PC – California Penalty of “Perjury” Law
We also have theFederal Perjury – Definition by Law
We also have the Penal Code 132 PC – Offering False Evidence
We also have the Penal Code 134 PC – Preparing False Evidence
We also have thePenal Code 118.1 PC – Police Officers Filing False Reports
We also have the Spencer v. Peters– Police Fabrication of Evidence – 14th Amendment
We also have the Penal Code 148.5 PC – Making a False Police Report in California
We also have the Penal Code 115 PC – Filing a False Document in California
Know Your Rights Click Here (must read!)
Under 42 U.S.C. $ection 1983 – Recoverable Damage$
42 U.S. Code § 1983– Civil Action for Deprivation of Right$
$ection 1983 Lawsuit – How to Bring a Civil Rights Claim
18 U.S. Code § 242 – Deprivation of Right$ Under Color of Law
18 U.S. Code § 241 – Conspiracy against Right$
$uing for Misconduct – Know More of Your Right$
Police Misconduct in California – How to Bring a Lawsuit
New Supreme Court Ruling – makes it easier to sue police
RELATIONSHIPWITH YOURCHILDREN& YOURCONSTITUIONAL RIGHT$ + RULING$
YOU CANNOT GET BACK TIME BUT YOU CAN HIT THOSE PUNKS WHERE THEY WILL FEEL YOU = THEIR BANK
We also have the 9.3 Section 1983 Claim Against Defendant as (Individuals) — 14th Amendment thisCODE PROTECTS all US CITIZENS
We also have the Amdt18.104.22.168.2 – Parental and Children’s Rights 5th Amendment thisCODE PROTECTS all US CITIZENS
We also have the 9.32 – Interference with Parent / Child Relationship – 14th Amendment thisCODE PROTECTS all US CITIZENS
We also have the California Civil Code Section 52.1Interference with exercise or enjoyment of individual rights
We also have the Parent’s Rights & Children’s Bill of RightsSCOTUS RULINGS FOR YOUR PARENT RIGHTS
We also have a SEARCH of our site for all articles relatingfor PARENTS RIGHTS Help!
Contesting / Appeal an Order / Judgment / Charge
Options to Appealing– Fighting A Judgment Without Filing An Appeal Settlement Or Mediation
Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 1008 Motion to Reconsider
Penal Code 1385 – Dismissal of the Action for Want of Prosecution or Otherwise
Penal Code 1538.5 – Motion To Suppress Evidence in a California Criminal Case
CACI No. 1501 – Wrongful Use of Civil Proceedings
Penal Code “995 Motions” in California – Motion to Dismiss
WIC § 700.1 – If Court Grants Motion to Suppress as Evidence
Epic Criminal / Civil Rights SCOTUS Help – Click Here
Epic Parents SCOTUS Ruling – Parental Rights Help – Click Here