Providing False Information
Under Ohio Revised Code (2921.13), making false statements to the police or any government representatives or officials under certain circumstances is illegal. For instance, the law requires you to tell the truth in any statement you offer to the police. You’re also required to tell the truth to any government officer or official in the context of a government investigation or proceeding. Providing false information in any of these scenarios can lead to charges ranging from falsification to obstruction of justice.
Another aspect of providing false information is covered under Ohio Revised Code (4513.361). Under this statute, it is a criminal traffic offense to lie to a law enforcement officer issuing a traffic ticket. Specifically, it is illegal to “knowingly present, display, or orally communicate a false name, social security number, or date of birth” or other important identifying information to the police.
Are you currently charged with any of these offenses? It is quite possible you did not intend to knowingly mislead a law enforcement official. Perhaps you misspoke or were nervous at the time of the encounter. It is also possible there was a misunderstanding between you and the law enforcement officer. Regardless of what occurred, if you have been formally charged with making a false statement or providing false information, you must take the charge seriously and take steps to obtain the best legal defense possible.
At Luftman, Heck, & Associates, we fight to defend our clients both in the pretrial negotiation process as well as at the trial itself. Highly skilled Cincinnati criminal defense attorney Brad Groene has the knowledge and experience to advocate vigorously to seek the best possible outcome on your behalf.
Call us today at (513) 338-1890 contact us online to set up a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case.
Making a False Statement to an Officer – Falsification
Under Ohio law, the crime of falsification under can only occur under certain circumstances. The law does indicate that you must know or should have known that the statement you made was false. However, if you make a false statement to an officer, that alone can often provide enough ground for charges to be issued against you.
Below are some common situations in which providing false information to law enforcement officers or government officials is illegal under Ohio law:
- When the information falsely incriminates another individual
- When the information aids in the commission of theft or another crime
- When the information misleads the public servant carrying out their duties
- While under oath or in the midst of an official legal proceeding
- While applying for official government documents, such as permits or licenses
- In connection with a gun, alcohol, or tobacco purchase
- While attempting to obtain unemployment, food stamps, welfare, or another type of government benefit
- When the false information is contained in a document or application used to obtain employment or any type of valuable distinction, such as a diploma, degree, certificate, or award
Falsification in the state of Ohio has sweeping application across a number of scenarios. Therefore, it is best to understand that with any interaction you have with a law enforcement officer or government employee, providing false information is not only wrong, but likely illegal.
Penalties of Providing False Information
Providing a false statement to law enforcement officers or government officials can result in a charge leveled against you that ranges anywhere from a first-degree misdemeanor to a third-degree felony.
A misdemeanor falsification conviction can land you in jail for up to 180 days and leave you with a $1,000 fine. However, a third-degree felony conviction carries with it a five-year maximum prison sentence and up to a $10,000 fine.
In addition to these statutory penalties, you may face additional consequences that affect your future employment opportunities, as well as your ability to retain any licenses you may possess.
Providing False Information to an Officer Issuing a Traffic Ticket
Sometimes individuals facing traffic citations feel pressure to say something untrue to officers in order to lessen the chances of receiving a ticket. However, stating anything but the truth can make the situation legally more difficult for you. If you provide false information to an officer and are convicted of this offense, you are in fact convicted of a crime – not a simple traffic offense.
Penalties for Providing False Information During a Traffic Stop
If convicted, you may face a maximum of six months in jail and up to a $1,000 fine. In addition, you may have points added to your driver’s license, potentially lose your license, and be sentenced to probation. With this conviction on your criminal record, you may also experience difficulties obtaining or maintaining employment and/or housing.
Contact an Experienced Cincinnati Criminal Lawyer
At Luftman, Heck, & Associates, our experienced criminal attorneys understand the type of difficult situation you may be facing due to the charge against you of providing false information. Experienced criminal defense lawyer Brad Groene can fight vigorously on your behalf to ensure your rights and interests are protected.
Do you need a strong legal defense? Allow us to provide you with a free consultation about your case. Call us today at (513) 338-1890.