What happens in the state of Montana for filing a false police report? Am I facing jail time? He is on house arrest because of it.

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What happens in the state of Montana for filing a false police report? Am I facing jail time? He is on house arrest because of it.

My boyfriend and I got in a heated fight, we were both drinking and one of my friends was there also. I said he punched me but the door actually got me in the lip when I wasnt expecting it. I was mad and blamed him. My friend also said he punched me and is a “witness” on the report. He is on house arrest because of it, and had to stay a weekend in jail. The state is pressing charges, his court date is in a couple weeks. He also violated his house arrest and is in jail again as of this morning. How do I fix this? what are the consequences for me lying,he was in jail for my lie,will i go to jail

Asked on June 18, 2009 under Criminal Law, Montana

Answers:

M.S., Member, Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Although I am not a Montana attorney, the relevant portion of the Montana Code provides that:

45-7-205. False reports to law enforcement authorities
(1) A person commits an offense under this section if he knowingly:
(a) gives false information to any law enforcement officer with the purpose to implicate another;
(b) reports to law enforcement authorities an offense or other incident within their concern knowing that it did not occur; or
(c) pretends to furnish such authorities with information relating to an offense or incident when he knows he has no information relating to such offense or incident.
(2) A person convicted under this section shall be fined not to exceed $500 or be imprisoned in the county jail for any term not to exceed 6 months, or both.
My advice is that rather than rescinding your statement, which could expose you to criminal liability as discussed above,  you should either consult with your boyfriend's attorney, or consult and/or retain your own attorney to discuss how you can help exonerate your boyfriend without inculpating yourself. 
The fifth amendment provides protection against incriminating one's self.  Therefore, rather than getting on the stand and lying, which would incriminate yourself as demonstrated above, an attorney could represent to the prosecutor that you would plead the fifth if you were called to testify in your boyfriend's case.  This may serve to severely weaken the state's case against your boyfriend, while preventing you from committing a crime.  Nevertheless, you need to consult with and/or retain an attorney in order to effectively do this and in order to evaluate any other options which may be available to you and your boyfriend.

 

N. K., Member, Iowa and Illinois Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor


The prosecutor decides whether he/she wants to charge you with filing a false police report.

If he/she decides to prosecute you, and you are in fact convicted, you face a fine of up to $500, jail time of 6 months or less, or both.


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