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False report to a peace officer

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  • False report to a peace officer

    All too often we show up to single vehicle crashes in our area where the driver claims to have swerved to miss a deer or to have fallen asleep. While some of these claims my be true I believe the majority of them to be lies conjured up to avoid citations. Most wrecks where you suspect that someone is lying to you, you can't prove them otherwise so you just write the report and forget about it.

    Recently we were dispatched to a crash involving one vehicle with a mother and a teenage daughter. The mother claimed to be the driver and that she swerved to avoid a deer. I could tell that she was lying and I suspected the unlicensed teenage girl was driving based on the damage to the car and by her injuries and her mothers lack of injuries. My suspicions were validated whenever I logged on and looked at the teenage girl's facebook page hours later, her posts told the story to her friends how she was the sole occupant of the car and sad that she totaled it out.

    So now that I have all of this evidence I know that I can issue a citation for driving without a license and submit the report with her being the driver, but I'd also like to file on the mother for giving false report to a peace officer in order to make an example out of her to prevent so many people lying to us in similar situations.

    Thoughts...

  • #2
    I don’t know about Texas, but in my state false report only applies false reports of emergencies that cause a public employee to respond. In this case there was an accident that necessitated response and investigation so for us, false report would not work.

    OTOH, we do have a second section about giving false information to a peace officer performing his duties under the Vehicle Code. I’m betting you have a similar section that would be more appropriate. It sounds like both mother and daughter lied to you. What’s even sweeter is if you can get warrants for both on the violation and pick them up at the same time. It not like spending the day getting a mani pedi together, but it would be a mother – daughter bonding event. Not many parents get to spend quality time with their children anymore.
    Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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    • #3
      Your case sounds pretty good. Please don't forget to document all of what you obtained on the net before it ever changes. It is your investigation, and as you know, it isn't what you know, it is what you can prove.

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      • #4
        Good case, make sure you save any audio, video recordings and also file a warrant through Facebook to obtain that information on her page. (Also photo print what you have from her fb page already). Once you get all tha fb info, if confront mom again and make sure you're recording to see if she wants to keep her answer the same or of she wants to change it, then show her the proof.

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        • #5
          It's a good case, as long as you have all of your "i"s dotted. But do you really want to jam up the mom for that? Is this going to be the first thing on her criminal record?
          I yell "PIKACHU" before I tase someone.

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          • #6
            In Dallas County we have a hard time making that one stick. Its a rarity to see someone charged with it. The only time I got it to work was when we had a robbery and we got our complainant to swear in writing that the suspect robbed them. We knew it was a deal and ended up charging the complainant with false report and taking them to jail.

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            • #7
              My opinion: This would be a waste of time.

              Originally posted by J.EastRidge View Post
              but I'd also like to file on the mother for giving false report to a peace officer in order to make an example out of her to prevent so many people lying to us in similar situations.

              Thoughts...
              Not going to happen. Ever.

              Ever watch the TV show House? "Everybody lies."

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              • #8
                I don't think it's a waste of time. Any chance we have to file this charge at my agency, we do it. It's a valid charge and if mom wants to be stupid and teach her daughter how to shirk responsibility, then she can face the consequences of her actions as well.
                Moooooooooooo, I'm a goat

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by corona11 View Post
                  In Dallas County we have a hard time making that one stick. Its a rarity to see someone charged with it. The only time I got it to work was when we had a robbery and we got our complainant to swear in writing that the suspect robbed them. We knew it was a deal and ended up charging the complainant with false report and taking them to jail.
                  In Dallas County it's hard to get anything to stick.

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                  • #10
                    I have to agree with Beavo on this one, people will always lie to you. All this work for a no dl ticket and a trumped up charge (which will get thrown out) on the mom just to teach her a lesson? Basically, unless there is a dwi or an assault, a wreck is a civil matter that we get stuck dealing with. Do your crash report and let their insurance company deal with them. Hammering out charges on any and everyone possible doesn't benefit anyone involved

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                    • #11
                      Update: Went to their house and explained to the mother that I knew her story couldn't be true and that I knew the daughter was the driver and sole occupant and that she had one last chance to tell me what I already knew or else I would file charges on her (after talking to the county attorney who said he would take the case). After a moment of silence she started to explain how she just did it to protect her daughter and didn't think that it mattered since no one else was injured. I then cited the daughter for no license and insurance and the mother for allowing an unlicensed driver to drive. So hopefully it'll teach the daughter to do the right thing in the future and since our local paper usually publishes write ups about wrecks in our area with citations issued it can potentially have the effect that I hoped for.

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                      • #12
                        I think that worked out well, good job.
                        "Out of every 100 men sent to battle, 10 shouldn't even be there, 80 are just targets, 9 are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a Warrior and he will bring the others back." -Heraclitus

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                        • #13
                          I've never arrested for FRTAPO for a traffic accident, but I have come very close. I've used it mainly as a threat so I can fill in all of the ST-3's/CRB-3's/CR-3's blanks for report completion. I'm sure y'all have the same idiots like us that have an accident while DWI and then report their vehicle stolen. After confronting the idiots with my investigation results, I've normally gotten compliance.

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                          • #14
                            Sounds like hours of paperwork for a misdemeanor ):
                            My life is in GOD’s hands, and he hasn’t finished with me yet.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by rookie2006 View Post
                              Sounds like hours of paperwork for a misdemeanor ):
                              Just like most of police work.

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