If you’re the subject of a criminal investigation, you may feel panicked. In an attempt to protect yourself, you may lie to investigators. Is it your right to do so? Is this the best way to protect yourself if suspected of committing a crime? Our defense attorneys at Jeffrey S. Weiner, P.A. are here to provide clarity on these questions.
Penalties for Lying to the Police
In short, yes, you may be punished for lying to the police. The exact penalties you face will be dependent on the circumstances of your fib or lie.
Generally, reporting false information is a misdemeanor charge in Florida. This can result in fines, a jail sentence, and probation. However, if you have a record of reporting false information to the police, the charges and penalties may increase.
If you go as far as making a false report under oath, you could be charged with perjury. In extreme cases, perjury can be a federal crime. If you are ever under oath, it’s crucial that you tell the truth.
What To Do Instead of Lying
If you are stopped by an officer and asked for information regarding a crime that you don’t feel safe answering, then use your right to remain silent. This is the best way to protect yourself when interacting with the police, and you cannot get in additional legal trouble for using your right to remain silent. If a police officer continues to ask you questions, firmly state that you will not answer any questions without an attorney present. At this point, they should cease questioning.
However, be sure to explicitly state that you are using your right to remain silent. If you do not directly invoke your Fifth Amendment rights, then your silence could be used against you as a sign of guilt.
Criminal Defense in Miami, Florida
If you are facing criminal charges, contact our highly-skilled defense team at Jeffrey S. Weiner, P.A.. We want to help you protect yourself and fight for your future. Reach out to our attorneys today; click here or call us at (305) 985-6640 to get started on your defense.