Colorado Domestic Violence Law – The Danger Of Being Charged With False Reporting If You Change Your Testimony – C.R.S. 18-8-111

Colorado Domestic Violence Law – The Danger Of Being Charged With False Reporting If You Change Your Testimony – C.R.S. 18-8-111

Information On The Colorado Crime of False Reporting In Domestic Violence Cases 

Colorado Domestic Violence Law - The Danger Of Being Charged With False Reporting If You Change Your Testimony - C.R.S. 18-8-111
Colorado Domestic Violence Law – The Danger Of Being Charged With False Reporting If You Change Your Testimony – C.R.S. 18-8-111

Colorado Domestic Violence Law – The Danger Of Being Charged With False Reporting If You Change Your Testimony – C.R.S. 18-8-111. The crime of false reporting is most often seen in Colorado Domestic Violence Cases when the alleged victims of domestic violence “recant” their original statements – admit they lied and then tell authorities their actions were intentional to make certain the defendant was arrested and prosecuted.

This article is intended to help the reader understand the Colorado crime of False Reporting To Authorities 18-8-111.

To Understand ANY Colorado Crime – Start With The Criminal Statute – The Law

18-8-111. False reporting to authorities

(1) A person commits false reporting to authorities, if:

(a) He or she knowingly:

(I) Causes by any means, including but not limited to activation, a false alarm of fire or other emergency or a false emergency exit alarm to sound or to be transmitted to or within an official or volunteer fire department, ambulance service, law enforcement agency, or any other government agency which deals with emergencies involving danger to life or property; or

(II) Prevents by any means, including but not limited to deactivation, a legitimate fire alarm, emergency exit alarm, or other emergency alarm from sounding or from being transmitted to or within an official or volunteer fire department, ambulance service, law enforcement agency, or any other government agency that deals with emergencies involving danger to life or property; or

(b) He makes a report or knowingly causes the transmission of a report to law enforcement authorities of a crime or other incident within their official concern when he knows that it did not occur; or

(c) He or she makes a report or knowingly causes the transmission of a report to law enforcement authorities pretending to furnish information relating to an offense or other incident within their official concern when he or she knows that he or she has no such information or knows that the information is false; or

(d) He or she knowingly provides false identifying information to law enforcement authorities.

(2) False reporting to authorities is a class 3 misdemeanor; except that if it is committed in violation of paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of this section and committed during the commission of another criminal offense, it is a class 2 misdemeanor.

(3) For purposes of this section, “identifying information” means a person’s name, address, birth date, social security number, or driver’s license or Colorado identification number

The Different Ways to Commit The Colorado Crime of False Reporting – The Law

§ 18-8-111. False reporting to authorities

(1) A person commits false reporting to authorities, if:

(a) He or she knowingly:

[HMS – The False Alarm False Report]

(I) Causes by any means, including but not limited to activation, a false alarm of fire or other emergency or a false emergency exit alarm to sound or to be transmitted to or within an official or volunteer fire department, ambulance service, law enforcement agency, or any other government agency which deals with emergencies involving danger to life or property; or

(II) Prevents by any means, including but not limited to deactivation, a legitimate fire alarm, emergency exit alarm, or other emergency alarm from sounding or from being transmitted to or within an official or volunteer fire department, ambulance service, law enforcement agency, or any other government agency that deals with emergencies involving danger to life or property;

or

[HMS  – The False Report of A Crime To Colorado Law Enforcement]

(b) He makes a report or knowingly causes the transmission of a report to law enforcement authorities of a crime or other incident within their official concern when he knows that it did not occur;

or

(c) He or she makes a report or knowingly causes the transmission of a report to law enforcement authorities pretending to furnish information relating to an offense or other incident within their official concern when he or she knows that he or she has no such information or knows that the information is false;

or

[HMS – Providing False Information About Your Identification]

(d) He or she knowingly provides false identifying information to law enforcement authorities. (“identifying information” means a person’s name, address, birth date, social security number, or driver’s license or Colorado identification number.)

(2) False reporting to authorities is a class 3 misdemeanor; except that if it is committed in violation of paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of this section and committed during the commission of another criminal offense, it is a class 2 misdemeanor.

[HMS – In Colorado – class 3 misdemeanors are punishable by up to 6 months in jail, while class 2 misdemeanors are punishable by anywhere from 3 months to 1 year in jail.

Colorado Domestic Violence Law – The Danger Of Being Charged With False Reporting If You Change Your Testimony – C.R.S. 18-8-111

It is not unusual that those charged with false reporting are also charged with obstruction of a a peace officer  C.R.S. 18-8-104.

18-8-104. Obstructing a peace officer, firefighter, emergency medical services provider, rescue specialist, or volunteer

(1)(a) A person commits obstructing a peace officer, firefighter, emergency medical services provider, rescue specialist, or volunteer when, by using or threatening to use violence, force, physical interference, or an obstacle, such person knowingly obstructs, impairs, or hinders the enforcement of the penal law or the preservation of the peace by a peace officer, acting under color of his or her official authority; knowingly obstructs, impairs, or hinders the prevention, control, or abatement of fire by a firefighter, acting under color of his or her official authority; knowingly obstructs, impairs, or hinders the administration of medical treatment or emergency assistance by an emergency medical service provider or rescue specialist, acting under color of his or her official authority; or knowingly obstructs, impairs, or hinders the administration of emergency care or emergency assistance by a volunteer, acting in good faith to render such care or assistance without compensation at the place of an emergency or accident.

(b) To assure that animals used in law enforcement or fire prevention activities are protected from harm, a person commits obstructing a peace officer or firefighter when, by using or threatening to use violence, force, physical interference, or an obstacle, he or she knowingly obstructs, impairs, or hinders any such animal.

(2) It is not a defense to a prosecution under this section that the peace officer was acting in an illegal manner, if he or she was acting under color of his or her official authority. A peace officer acts “under color of his or her official authority” if, in the regular course of assigned duties, he or she makes a judgment in good faith based on surrounding facts and circumstances that he or she must act to enforce the law or preserve the peace.

(4) Obstructing a peace officer, firefighter, emergency medical service provider, rescue specialist, or volunteer is a class 2 misdemeanor.

(5) For purposes of this section, unless the context otherwise requires:

(a) “Emergency medical service provider” means a member of a public or private emergency medical service agency, whether that person is a volunteer or receives compensation for services rendered as such emergency medical service provider.

(b) “Rescue specialist” means a member of a public or private rescue agency, whether that person is a volunteer or receives compensation for services rendered as such rescue specialist. 

The Colorado Domestic Violence “Victims” Dilemmas – Tell The Truth And Face Possible Charges – Or Pursue The Lie And Please The DA

When – in the passion of a very serious altercation – one side of an intimate relationship – husband – wife – girlfriend – boyfriend – fiance etc calls the police and tells them a story of what “happened” while under the influence of alcohol for example  – that is later changed during the prosecution of the case… false reporting charges may be filed.

The decision to actually file false reporting charges against an alleged victim of domestic violence – when and if there are substantial changes to their testimony is very rare.  It has been my experience that absent and outright admission that the original statements were bald faced lies – the alleged victim of domestic violence is granted substantial ‘”leeway” to correct the record.

If You Are Charged With False Reporting – It Is At Worst A Class 2 Misdemeanor ..

False Reporting and The Fifth Amendment Right to Remain Silent

The better practice is NEVER TO MAKE A STATEMENT IN THE FIRST INSTANCE.  Just because law enforcement are investigating an allegation or suspicion of an act of domestic violence does NOT mean that the alleged victim need cooperate.  The right to remain silent in our country is inviolate and the refusal to cooperate in a domestic violence investigation is the right of the defendant AND the alleged.

Just Your Identification – Nothing More

If you are faced with the kind of “separated questioning” so common in Colorado domestic violence cases that follows the arrival of the police – there is nothing unlawful in BOTH parties refusing to make and ORAL or a WRITTEN statement beyond your basic identifying information.

At the point that you have been identified assert your right to remain silent and then ask to speak with your attorney before speaking to the police….even if you do not have lawyer – you are free to use my name. H. Michael Steinberg.

Colorado Domestic Violence Law – The Danger Of Being Charged With False Reporting If You Change Your Testimony – C.R.S. 18-8-111

By Denver Colorado False Reporting Criminal Defense Lawyer – H. Michael Steinberg

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: H. Michael Steinberg – Email The Author mailto: hmichaelsteinberg@hmichaelsteinberg.com

If you are charged with [shoplifting or grand theft], please call our office. The Law Offices of H. Michael Steinberg, in Denver, Colorado, provide criminal defense clients with effective, efficient, intelligent and strong legal advocacy. We can educate you and help you navigate the stressful and complex legal process related to your criminal defense issue.

H. Michael Steinberg, is a Denver, Colorado criminal defense lawyer with over 30 years of day to day courtroom experience –  specializing only in Colorado Criminal Law along the Front Range.  He will provide you with a free initial case consultation to evaluate your legal issues and to answer your questions with an honest assessment of your options.  Remember, it costs NOTHING to discuss your case.  So call now for an immediate free phone consultation.

Helping Clients To Make Informed Decisions In the Defense of Colorado Criminal Cases. Colorado Defense Lawyer H. Michael Steinberg provides solid criminal defenses for clients throughout the Front Range of Colorado – including the City and County courts of Adams County, Arapahoe County, City and County of Boulder, City and County of Broomfield, City and County of Denver, Douglas County, El Paso County – Colorado Springs, Gilpin County, Jefferson County, Larimer County, and Weld County,…. and all the other cities and counties of Colorado along the I-25 Corridor… on cases involving … Colorado Domestic Violence Law – The Danger Of Being Charged With False Reporting If You Change Your Testimony – C.R.S. 18-8-111.?

Colorado Domestic Violence Lawyer