Posted by Jim Yeargan in Jim's Blog on November 7, 2018
Law enforcement in Georgia reports that recently after being pulled over on a congested highway, a man placed his 3-month-old daughter on top of a stolen handgun on the vehicle’s floorboard. When the man told law enforcement that there was not anyone inside of the vehicle, law enforcement searched the man’s vehicle and discovered his daughter. Also in the vehicle, law enforcement discovered marijuana and hundreds of ecstasy pills that were shaped like Lego characters.
The driver was subsequently arrested on charges of felony theft, felony drug charges, and transporting a child in a passenger vehicle. As a result, the child was given to her mother and the driver’s vehicle was seized.
While it remains unclear if the driver in this situation was charged with making false statement to law enforcement, it is absolutely critical that all drivers in Georgia who are stopped by the police avoid lying. In most situations, this results in the drivers facing worse charges than they otherwise would have. If you do end up charged with such an offense, you should not hesitate to speak with law enforcement.
Georgia Law Regarding False Statements
A person in Georgia is considered to have made a false statement when they knowingly and willfully falsify or cover up any material fact to law enforcement or any other worker of any state or local government agency.
In the case of Sneiderman v. State, the defendant was convicted of violating Georgia false statement laws because the defendant concealed her relationship with a deceased man to law enforcement. As a result, law enforcement viewed this false information as an attempt to cover up a material fact. Few situations where drivers in Georgia are pulled over, however, as clear cut. In many situations, it will be much harder for law enforcement to establish that you provided false statements.
If convicted of making false statements, a person faces some substantial penalties including fines of up to $1,000 as well between one to five years in prison.
Defenses in Georgia to Making a False Statement
If you are charged with making a false statement, there are fortunately several possible defenses that an experienced attorney can help you raise, which include the following:
- Accident. If you accidentally left out an important detail or did not properly understand your interaction with law enforcement, this can often be raised as a defense. To be convicted of making false statements, it must be shown that you did so willfully.
- Failure to realize something was a material fact. If a person did not think that something was a material fact and did not intentionally hide information, it is possible that this can be successfully raised as a defense.
- The statement was not provided to a government worker. To be convicted of making false statements, a person must have falsely conveyed information to a government worker. If you provided false information but the worker was not employed with the government, you cannot be charged with an offense.
Speak with a Traffic Defense Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one is charged with a traffic related offense, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced defense lawyer. At Yeargan & Kert, LLC, we have helped a countless number of clients respond to driving related charges. Contact our law office today to schedule an initial free case evaluation.