False reporting to authorities is a criminal charge in Douglas County, Colorado that involves providing fake reports to police or other authorities. Falsely reporting a crime or setting off a fire alarm as a prank can lead to charges in Highlands Ranch, Parker, and Castle Rock. The false reporting law in Colorado has nuances to it that requires the expertise of a skilled criminal lawyer if facing accusations or charges.
What is False Reporting to Authorities in Douglas County?
C.R.S. 18-8-111 defines the elements of Colorado’s false reporting law. Someone commits false reporting to authorities if they knowingly:
- cause by any means, including but not limited to activation, a false alarm of fire or other emergency or a false emergency exit alarm to sound or to be transmitted to or within an official or volunteer fire department, ambulance service, law enforcement agency, or any other government agency which deals with emergencies involving danger to life or property,
- prevent by any means, including but not limited to deactivation, a legitimate fire alarm, emergency exit alarm, or other emergency alarm from sounding or from being transmitted to or within an official or volunteer fire department, ambulance service, law enforcement agency, or any other government agency that deals with emergencies involving danger to life or property,
- make a report or knowingly causes the transmission of a report to law enforcement authorities of a crime or other incident within their official concern when he knows that it did not occur,
- make a report or knowingly causes the transmission of a report to law enforcement authorities pretending to furnish information relating to an offense or other incident within their official concern when he or she knows that he or she has no such information or knows that the information is false,
- or provide false identifying information to law enforcement authorities.
Can You Go to Jail for False Reporting in Colorado?
False reporting to authorities is most often a class 2 misdemeanor in Colorado. Conviction can result in:
- up to 120 days in county jail,
- up to $750 in fines
However, if your actions cause an evacuation or the emergency response injures someone, a class 1 misdemeanor applies. The county jail sentence increases to as many as 364 days and you can be fined as much as $1,000.
Finally, making a false report of weapons, explosives, or harmful substances is a class 6 felony and can lead to 18 months of incarceration and substantial fines.
Douglas County’s Best Criminal Defense
Facing a charge of false reporting to authorities requires assistance from a skillful criminal defense lawyer. Perhaps you believed your report was factual or the scenario did in fact occur. Nonetheless, contact our office for a free initial consultation. We offer same-day jail visits, affordable fees, and flexible payment plans for those facing accusations.