Senate Passes Legislation Making it Unlawful to Falsely Report a Crime

ATLANTA (February 3, 2012) –The Georgia Senate passed SB 225 on Thursday in a unanimous vote. Sponsored by Senator Butch Miller (R-Gainesville), this legislation would enforce stricter penalties on individuals found guilty of knowingly and willingly reporting false information to law enforcement.

“SB 225 was created as a direct result of an individual within my district who was found guilty of falsely reporting a homicide on the internet, said Sen. Miller. “As a result of this claim, law enforcement officials in Hall County were required to expand their time and limited resources to investigate these reports when they should have been focusing their efforts on legitimate cases which could potentially compromise public safety.”

Currently, reporting false information to law enforcement, whether by written, electronic or other means, is considered a crime in most states. However, many states vary on the degree of punishment for this offense.

With the passage of this bill, Georgians found guilty of providing false testimony will be guilty of a misdemeanor under Georgia law.  A misdemeanor associated with this offense could also carry a sentence of up to 12 months in jail and may incur a fine of up to $1,000 dollars.

An individual will be criminally prosecuted for falsely reporting a crime by the following claims:

  • The individual states that he/she has committed a serious violent felony
  • The offense is reasonably intended to cause law enforcement to initiate an investigation to determine whether the crime has been committed by that person

SB 225 will continue its way through the legislative process by traveling to the House of Representatives for a vote.

For Immediate Release:
February 3, 2012

For Information Contact:
Natalie Dale, Director
Shawna Mercer,Sr. Communications Specialist