Is It a Crime To Lie On a Police Report?

Humans have a natural inclination to believe statements made by others, but this trust can expose them to deception. In law enforcement, distinguishing between truth and lies is critical. This post explores strategies for detecting deception during interrogations, emphasizing the challenges faced by officers. From false police reports to perjury, understanding the science behind deception detection is essential for maintaining justice and integrity in the legal system.

Is It A Crime To Lie On A Police Report?

Lying on a police report can have serious legal consequences. In this comprehensive post, we will explore the legal aspects, penalties, and relevant scenarios associated with providing false information to law enforcement.

1. Filing a False Police Report

Filing a false police report is a criminal offense in most jurisdictions. When an individual knowingly provides false information to law enforcement, they may face misdemeanor or felony charges. The severity of the offense depends on state laws and the extent of deception.


  • Misdemeanor: In some states, filing a false police report is considered a misdemeanor. Convictions can result in fines, probation, or up to one year in jail.
  • Felony: In other cases, especially if the false report involves serious crimes or causes harm to others, it may be charged as a felony. Felony convictions can lead to longer prison sentences.

2. Perjury

Perjury is the act of deliberately lying under oath. While it often occurs during court proceedings, it can also apply to statements made on police reports. In California, for instance, perjury can be a felony offense. Key points about perjury:

Elements of Perjury:

  • Deliberate False Statement: Prosecutors must prove that the defendant knowingly made a false statement.
  • Under Oath: Perjury typically occurs when someone swears an oath or signs a document under penalty of perjury.
  • Scope: It’s not limited to courtrooms; various documents (e.g., affidavits, sworn statements) fall under perjury laws.


  • California: Convictions can result in up to four years in prison.

3. Lying To Federal Agents

Lying to federal agents is a separate offense. Federal law makes it a crime to knowingly provide false information to federal officers. This includes interactions with agents from agencies like the FBI, DEA, or ICE.


  • Knowingly and Willfully: The false statement must be intentional.
  • Federal Jurisdiction: Applies to interactions with federal executive, legislative, or judicial branches.


  • Felony: Convictions can lead to up to five years in federal prison.

Lying on a police report has legal consequences, ranging from misdemeanors to felonies. Whether it is filing a false report or committing perjury, honesty and accuracy are crucial when dealing with law enforcement. Remember, truthfulness matters in maintaining a just and fair legal system.

Last updated on: June 7, 2024

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *