Steven Lyle Peluso has been charged with False Report of the Commission of a Crime. Peluso’s charge came after admitting to deputies that he had not in fact been robbed of $100 at gunpoint in Hernando County. Peluso’s story allegedly had several inconsistencies that detectives pointed out, convincing Peluso to come clean and reportedly admit that he had made the whole thing up. Peluso allegedly made the story up because he did not know what to tell his wife about the $100 he was attempting to buy pain pills with at a home, but upon handing over the money for the pills, the individual grabbed the money and fled without forking over the pills.
In most states, it is illegal to call the police and report something that did not happen or report an incident in a way that is either grossly far from what happened or entirely false. Most of the time, these offenses are small and are treated as insignificant; however, calls to police are investigated and if no crime actually occurred, the police are wasting tax payer resources. The prosecutor in charge of one’s case may not feel that one deserves a break because of one’s charge, making the stakes to a person accused of this crime, huge.
Under Florida Statute 817.49, falsely reporting a crime is a first degree misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, not to mention thousands of dollars in fines. This charge requires that the accused have the intent to mislead the police in their quest to stop a crime that was never committed.
In cases like these, people are many times scared of what their family, friends, and society might think when they are involved in a drug deal gone wrong. Many strongly shun the idea of any drug, and as such people feel the impulse to make up a lie in order to avoid what they think are worse consequences; in Peluso obviously thought angering his wife was a worse consequence. However, what Peluso and others forget is that when the police find out that the story is false, a criminal charge will be filed. One should never lie to police, but if one has, one should immediately obtain an experienced attorney and exercise one’s right to remain silent.
In false police report cases, the statements one are crucially important to one’s defense as well as one’s possible conviction. The less one says to police, the less statements a State Attorney has to use against one for such a conviction. The more one says to police, the deeper the hole one digs for oneself becomes. An experienced attorney might be able to work with the facts of Peluso’s case, although sticky, to obtain a more favorable outcome.
A defense to falsifying a police report is that one did not knowingly lie or have the intent to make a false statement to the police. In this case, Peluso reported an armed robbery of $100 at Kass Circle in Spring Park, Fl. This report is not far from accurate:
Peluso did in fact have $100 on his person. Another person took that $100 from him and ran. He reported being robbed in Kass Circle. Peluso was in fact, robbed of $100 in kass Circle. In this case, law enforcement might arrest the unidentified source for a robbery charge of the pills if he was properly identified. Who is to say that Peluso was not in fact robbed while the other individual was in the possession of some sort of weapon, such as a knife or firearm? Peluso changed his story once for his wife’s sake, who is to say he did not leave out the detail about being held at gun point so his wife would not go ballistic? Weirder things happen in husband-wife relationships.
Peluso is a victim of his drug habits, the individual who stole his money, and his own personal choices. Now he might possibly be the victim of a powerful State operated legal system. Do not let this be your fate too.
False police reports in Jacksonville may not seem like a big deal to the casual eye. However, if one were to obtain an experienced Jacksonville false police report defense attorney, one’s attorney can use one’s testimony and facts of one’s case to prove that there was no intent to commit the crime, and thus beat the charge in its entirety. One need not suffer at the hands of a powerful State operated legal system. Defend yourself.