Falsely claiming you were assaulted in a domestic relationship or giving a statement and “taking it back” later is a serious matter and you can be charged.

Legally we refer to false claims or statements such as the above as “public mischief”.

But I took what I said back! He wasn’t charged and I didn’t hurt anyone.

False claims of assault or sexual assault affect not only the person who has been falsely accused, but also the police and the judicial system.

Police must spend time investigating whether the incident occurred and, if the matter proceeds to Court, the Court must divest its time and resources dealing with it.

In addition to the impact on the person falsely accused, the Court does not view wasted time and resources kindly.

What does the law say?

Section 547B of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) deals with public mischief and provides that a person who makes a statement to a police officer knowing it is untrue and which would require a police officer to call an investigation is guilty of an offence.

You can still be charged with an offence under this section if you make a representation to someone other than a police officer, and that other person tells the police.

Get to the point, will I go to prison?

The types of examples as described above could land you in prison for a period of up to 12 months and/or you could receive a fine in the amount of $5,500.00.

What can you do for me?

If you have been charged with public mischief, please call us to speak to our experienced criminal lawyer.

 

Written by Amy Gilford.

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