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Filing or Making a False Police Report Laws (PC 148.5/148.9) in California

California Penal Code 148.5/148.9): Filing or Making a False Police Report

This can be shown in one of several ways:

Legal Definition: Every person who reports to any police officer, the Attorney General, or a deputy attorney general, or a district attorney, that a felony or misdemeanor has been committed, knowing the report to be false, is guilty of a misdemeanor (PC

In addition, making a false report to any other peace officer that a felony or misdemeanor has been committed, is also guilty of a misdemeanor if:

The false information is given while the peace officer is engaged in the performance of their duties as a peace officer;


The person providing the false information knows or should have known that the person receiving the information is a peace officer. (PC 148.5(b))

This also includes making false calls to the police (or a person that takes citizen’s calls) if they are performing their duty and it is known or should be known by the caller that they are performing their duties. (PC 148.5(c))

This does not apply to mandatory reporters, or people required by law to make reports involving elder abuse or child abuse to police. (PC 148.5(e))

PC 148.9(a): Providing false information, such as your name, to police officers, is also a misdemeanor offense.

What does this mean?

The greatest hoax in the Criminal Justice System is the old saying in Entrapment cases where if you ask the police officer if they are in fact police, that they must tell you. In fact, police do not have to identify themselves, even if asked, if they are the police. The reverse is not true, however. We cannot lie to police, or people associated with police, or even make fake 911 calls, as stated above. It is important to note, as will be explained later, is that this is all purposeful conduct, not accidental.


Resisting, Obstructing, or Delaying Arrest is a misdemeanor only violation in California. If you are convicted, you could be sentenced to County Jail for up to 180 days. You would be required to serve 50% of that time. This is not a crime of Moral Turpitude, but looking at the crime itself, it will appear to be a crime of dishonesty and lying to an authority figure. This will play a huge role if applying for Citizenship, or for a person trying to obtain a Professional License. And unless a good explanation can be provided for why you were convicted, could disqualify you from residency, or your dream job.

Common Defenses

  1. Statute of Limitations
  2. Insufficient Evidence
  3. Mistake of Fact
  4. Violation of your Rights

As I alluded to earlier, it is important to know that you have to intend to make a false statement or false report at the time you are making it. If some person calls you as a prank, saying that their father was just murdered. You then calling the police will not lead to a conviction if you truly believed the statement you gave was true at the time. A prank generally implies one person is not in on it, and albeit a sick prank, it eliminates the necessary intent needed for a conviction.

Another common example is an angry ex, who calls police to report that they were raped. That person, maybe not thinking it through that well has a bad story, it falls apart, and its shown she was trying to get back at someone. A lie like this could land someone in jail for years, which is why these cases are so heavily prosecuted to prevent people from trying to ruin other’s lives.

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In the realm of criminal justice, cases under PC 148.5 are prosecuted with unyielding rigor by District Attorneys. This scenario underscores the necessity of having a legal advocate who is not only assertive but also possesses the requisite skills and determination to vigorously defend your rights. Facing such charges, you cannot afford to take any risks that might jeopardize your future, particularly when it comes to your employment opportunities.

Even seemingly harmless actions, like making a prank phone call to law enforcement or attempting to cause harm through false reporting, can lead to serious repercussions including imprisonment and a permanent criminal record. However, it’s important to know that there are numerous defenses available, many of which have successfully led to either dismissals or significant reductions in charges.

At Inland Empire Criminal Defense, our highly experienced Ontario criminal defense attorney specializes in handling PC 148.5 and other serious offenses with a record of numerous successful defenses. We understand the gravity of your situation and are committed to providing you with the most robust defense possible.

We invite you to take advantage of our complimentary initial consultation, where we’re ready to address any questions or concerns you may have, 24/7. Contact us today at 909-939-7126. Located in Ontario, CA, Inland Empire Criminal Defense is your dependable partner in navigating the complexities of the legal system.

Frequently Asked Questions

Absolutely, Inland Empire Criminal Defense prioritizes your privacy and confidentiality. Every consultation with our attorney is conducted with the utmost discretion, ensuring your information remains secure and private.

Yes, understanding the financial pressures that can come with legal representation, our attorney offers flexible payment plans. This approach ensures that quality legal defense is accessible for all our clients in Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties.

Yes, Inland Empire Criminal Defense offers free consultations. This is part of our commitment to providing accessible and transparent legal services to residents of Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties.

We offer both in-person and over-the-phone consultations to accommodate your preferences and needs. Whether you’re in Riverside, San Bernardino, or Los Angeles County, we ensure that you can access our legal services in the way that suits you best.

Our office is typically closed on weekends. However, we do make exceptions for meetings by special arrangement. Our commitment is to be as accommodating as possible to meet the unique needs of our clients in Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties.

Our legal services are specifically tailored to residents of Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties. For cases outside these areas, we recommend consulting to find appropriate legal assistance. Our focused approach allows us to provide specialized defense catering to the unique legal landscape of these counties.

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