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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Default Filing A False Police Report In Washington State

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Washington

    I'm writing a story for a journalism class concerning filing false police reports in the state of Washington. Does anyone know what the charge for that is and if so, could you direct me to the place where you found that information?

    Thank you so much!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Filing A False Police Report In Washington State

    There are two kinds actually for most states: filing a false police report, and filing a false report of allegations of child abuse (also a crime, but reported to a different authority). Here's the statute covering false reporting of child abuse or neglect:

    False Reporting
    Rev. Code 26.44.060(4); 9A.20.021

    A person who intentionally and in bad faith knowingly makes a false report of alleged abuse or neglect shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. Every person convicted of a misdemeanor shall be punished by one or both of the following:

    Imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 90 days
    A fine of not more than $1,000



    For regular "police report" filing, most reports require the complaintant to read and swear to their statement before signing. See:

    RCW 9A.72.085
    Unsworn statements, certification.

    Whenever, under any law of this state or under any rule, order, or requirement made under the law of this state, any matter in an official proceeding is required or permitted to be supported, evidenced, established, or proved by a person's sworn written statement, declaration, verification, certificate, oath, or affidavit, the matter may with like force and effect be supported, evidenced, established, or proved in the official proceeding by an unsworn written statement, declaration, verification, or certificate, which:

    (1) Recites that it is certified or declared by the person to be true under penalty of perjury;

    (2) Is subscribed by the person;

    (3) States the date and place of its execution; and

    (4) States that it is so certified or declared under the laws of the state of Washington.

    The certification or declaration may be in substantially the following form:


    "I certify (or declare) under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of Washington that the foregoing is true and correct":
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
    (Date and Place) (Signature)




    So this is the likely applicable statute:

    RCW 9A.72.050
    Perjury and false swearing Inconsistent statements Degree of crime.

    (1) Where, in the course of one or more official proceedings, a person makes inconsistent material statements under oath, the prosecution may proceed by setting forth the inconsistent statements in a single count alleging in the alternative that one or the other was false and known by the defendant to be false. In such case it shall not be necessary for the prosecution to prove which material statement was false but only that one or the other was false and known by the defendant to be false.

    (2) The highest offense of which a person may be convicted in such an instance as set forth in subsection (1) of this section shall be determined by hypothetically assuming each statement to be false. If perjury of different degrees would be established by the making of the two statements, the person may only be convicted of the lesser degree. If perjury or false swearing would be established by the making of the two statements, the person may only be convicted of false swearing. For purposes of this section, no corroboration shall be required of either inconsistent statement.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Filing A False Police Report In Washington State


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