Can I get into trouble for unintentionally accusing someone of a crime?

I was driving a friend home which I should not have been driving. We left the bar all I could remember was someone jumping into the back of my truck and the 2 started arguing so I pulled over. They obviously fought because by the time I got around the other side of the car the guy had run off. I thought it was my husband because I remember seeing a white baseball hat. So that’s what I said to

the cops. Now I find out my husband was at home all night with his mom. There is a no contact in place and he’s on probation. Now he sits on a PO hold. Am I in trouble?

Asked on April 28, 2017 under Criminal Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

There is not penalty for being mistaken or wrong--the law accepts that people make mistakes and does not criminalize good-faith errors. Deliberately filing a false report or making a false accusation can lead to  criminal charges against you, but based on what you describe, that is not what happened. However, once you know of the mistake, you need to let the authorities know; failure to do would be effectively knowingly maintain the lie, and that continuing to persist in an incorrect identification can constitute deliberately making a false report.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.