False Reporting: A.R.S. 13-2907 and 13-2907.01
False reporting charges can involve making misrepresentative statements to law enforcement or falsely reporting emergency situations with the intent to cause some sort of serious response. The state of Arizona divides this criminal offense into two statutes.
False Reporting to Law Enforcement
According to A.R.S. 13-2907.01, it is unlawful for a person to knowingly make to a law enforcement agency, of either this state or a political subdivision of this state:
- A false, fraudulent, or unfounded report or statement.
- A misrepresentation of a fact for the purpose of interfering with the orderly operation of a law enforcement agency or misleading a peace officer.
This can include deliberately answering police questions incorrectly, deliberately providing inaccurate witness statements, or calling in a crime that didn’t occur.
A violation is a class 1 misdemeanor. Offenders can face up to six months of incarceration for committing this offense.
False Reporting of an Emergency
According to A.R.S. 13-2907, a person commits false reporting by initiating or circulating a report of a bombing, fire, offense, or other emergency knowing that such report is false and intending any of the following:
- That it will cause action of any sort by an official or volunteer agency organized to deal with emergencies.
- That it will place a person in fear of imminent serious physical injury.
- That it will prevent or interrupt the occupation of any building, room, place of assembly, public place or means of transportation.
Such false reporting is a class 1 misdemeanor. Offenders can face up to six months of incarceration for committing this offense. However, a second or subsequent violation of this statute is a class 6 felony, for which first-time offenders can be incarcerated for up to two years.
Additionally, anyone convicted of this offense is liable for the expenses that are incurred incident to the emergency response or the investigation of the commission of false reporting. Juvenile offenders may be ordered to pay this as restitution instead.
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