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Penalties for Lying to Law Enforcement in Texas

In the criminal justice system, law enforcement, specifically police officers, detectives, and other investigators rely heavily on interviews with suspects, eyewitnesses, and other individuals who provide them with valuable “tips” that help solve cases.

Often, detectives will conduct multiple interviews with people when investigating a crime. They will talk to everybody they can; anyone who may be able to help them nail down a suspect and gather enough evidence to initiate an arrest.

Since state and federal investigations depend on the information provided to them in interviews with suspects and witnesses, it’s critical that they information they receive is true and reliable.

Understandably, people are required by law to give honest and truthful information during criminal investigations. When people intentionally lie to the police or other members of law enforcement, or when they knowingly provide false or misleading information, they can face criminal charges under Section 37.08 of the Texas Penal Code.

Providing False Reports to Law Enforcement

Under Sec. 37.08, it’s against the law to provide a false report to a peace officer, a federal special investigator, or another member of law enforcement. Under this section, it’s unlawful to knowingly make a false statement to member of state or federal law enforcement that is material to a criminal investigation.

In other words, it’s a crime to intentionally make a false statement to any member of state or federal law enforcement that is relevant or material to a criminal investigation. For example, suppose you provided a false alibi for someone who was under investigation.

If you said that your friend, “John” was with you at a certain day and time when he wasn’t – that would be a violation under Sec. 37.08. Providing a false statement to law enforcement is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not to exceed $2,000, or up to 6 months in jail, or both.

Accused of lying to law enforcement during an investigation? Contact our Plano criminal defense firm at once to schedule a consultation!