Irvine, Orange County - A jury in Orange County, Florida found Casey Anthony not guilty Tuesday of killing her 2-year-old daughter in a high-profile case that captivated the country, but before it was over the jury did find Anthony guilty on four counts on giving false information to peace officers, which is a misdemeanor.
Under Florida law Anthony could face up to a year in jail for each count, however in California, according to Irvine criminal defense attorney Michael L. Guisti, punishment for giving false information to a peace officer is only punishable by a maximum of six months in county jail.
Attorney Guisti explains that in California giving false statements to a peace officer is a misdemeanor under California Vehicle Code (CVC) 31 that states in part, "No person shall give, either orally or in writing, information to a peace officer while in the performance of his duties [...] when such person knows that the information is false."
Irvine criminal defense lawyer Guisti explains they're several ways you could break this law, which range from simply giving the police officer a false name to answering a question you know to be false.
To be guilty of this crime, Orange County criminal defense attorney Guisti explains, you had to "knowingly" give false information to the officer, which basically means you meant to deceive the officer. Now if you unknowingly gave the officer documents you believed were legitimate or during questioning you weren't thinking straight and unknowingly gave incorrect answers you cannot be guilty of this crime, according to Guisti.
Irvine fraud attorney Guisti says if convicted of this crime in addition to being sentenced up to six months in jail you could face up to a $1,000 fine.
Attorney Guisti stresses that even though the punishment isn't very harsh you have to remember this is a misdemeanor and if you're convicted of this you're going to have a misdemeanor on your record that potential employers and other agencies will see when they run a background check on you, which is why you need an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.
Irvine criminal attorney Guisti says should you be found guilty of this crime at some point you may want to consider an expungement.
If you're being charged with making false statements to a peace officer call the Orange County Law Offices of Michael L. Guisti at 888-478-8999 and let our criminal defense experts handle this matter for you.