A police report is documentation provided by police officers that includes details of incidents that require police aid. Texas officers use these reports for automobile accidents, crime scenes, domestic disputes and other occasions as needed. The police officer records information from witnesses such as the details of the incident, time, location and other significant points. Individuals and businesses then use police reports for insurance or prosecution purposes. When an individual files a false police report in Texas, there are specific repercussions that may apply.
When a person intentionally provides an officer with inaccurate details about an account, he is falsifying information. This information may be a small detail in the account or the entire incident itself. For example, if a person reports a theft without a theft occurring, he is intentionally filing a false police report. It also may be falsification of a police report if the witness overstates the amount of items stolen, if a theft did occur, for an insurance claim purpose.
In some situations, a witness may falsify police reports by accident. For example, a witness may misrepresent a speed of a vehicle by guessing the speed of a motorist. An account such as this is unintentional and not considered falsification. It only is when an entire account or statement is purposely false that legal action may occur against the reporter.
If it is later determined these details are inaccurate, the person who reported them has committed an offense. As of 2011, this offense is a Class B misdemeanor in the state of Texas under penal code section 37.08. Identification of police report falsification is due to investigation, additional witnesses, camera recordings and other methods. In some instances, a witness may come forward and determine the report was inaccurate or false due to intentionally reporting false information.
Those convicted in Texas with a Class B misdemeanor may receive a fine up to $2,000. He also may receive a jail sentence up to 180 days or a combination of the two penalties. The amount of the fine or jail sentence may depend on the intention or significance of the false claim.