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May 3, 2017

New York Penal Law 210.45: Making a punishable false written statement

In the state of New York, penal code 210.45 deals with perjuring yourself under oath. Most people are familiar with perjury in the context of live courtroom testimony. While this is certainly a common type of perjury, people can also perjure themselves in writing. For example, people can be found guilty of making punishable false written statements if they provide false information to the police. In such a case, it isn’t inconceivable that the defendant might also face a charge of obstruction of justice. Importantly, the alleged liar doesn’t have to physically write the entire statement to face this type of perjury charge. On the contrary, signing a dictated criminal complaint can qualify as perjury under New York law. Although lying in a signed affidavit can violate 210,45, this charge is usually leveled against people who sign false criminal complaints. Along with the law against obstruction of justice, 210.45 is an important tool for ensuring that police are not hindered in their efforts to protect the public.

Examples
Sometimes, police officers are charged with violating 210.45. For example, a police officer was charged with making a punishable false statement after an interaction with a photographer. As the officer was attempting to subdue a third party, the photographer approached and began taking pictures with his camera. The officer immediately arrested the photographer and charged him with committing obstruction of justice.

According to the arresting officer’s sworn statement, the camera’s bright flash interfered with the his vision, which in turn obstructed his ability to perform his duty. Because the photographer in question worked for the New York Times, he likely had access to a a high-quality NYC criminal lawyer. In any case, it proved fairly easy to prove that the arresting officer had lied in his criminal complaint. The photographer’s camera was not equipped with any type of flash at the time of the arrest. In light of this evidence, not even the best NYC criminal attorney could have exonerated the accusing officer.

In another case, a woman was convicted of violating 210.45 after she falsely accused an officer of touching her wrongly during a traffic stop. This woman learned a hard lesson about the consequences of lying. In these and other 210.45 violations, people lied in a way that undermined public safety by making a mockery of the justice system. Of course, it should go without saying that innocent people are occasionally accused of making punishable false written statements. In cases such as these, NYC criminal attorneys can help.

Defenses
Perhaps the most simple way to defend against an 210.45 allegation is to show that the allegedly false statement is actually true. Over the years, a fair number of people have used this simple tactic effectively. Alternately, the defendant could show that the false statement was made under duress. To convict a person of violating 210.45, the defendant must have made a false statement knowingly. In other words, mistakenly making a false written statement is not illegal.

The best NYC criminal lawyers have the knowledge and experience needed to defend cases such as these successfully. Although making a punishable false written statement is a misdemeanor, rather than a felony, most people naturally seek to avoid any type of criminal conviction. When charged with committing this type of crime, defendants should seek outstanding legal representation and fight the charges to the best of their abilities.

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Brooklyn

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New York, NY 10005

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Queens

35-37 36th St,
Astoria, NY 11106

Phone

888-977-6335

Brooklyn

195 Montague St.14th Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Phone

888-977-6335

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