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Can You Get in Trouble for Lying to Police?


Providing false information to a police officer while they are performing official duties is illegal. In Wisconsin, if you violate this law, you could be charged with a criminal offense.

Under Wisconsin Statute 946.40, it is unlawful to refuse to provide information to a police officer while they are performing their lawful duties. This offense is referred to as refusing to aid an officer and is a misdemeanor.

Additionally, according to statute 946.41, if a person knowingly thwarts an officer’s attempt to gather information about an incident during, they could be charged with resisting or obstructing an officer. The law defines “obstructing” as intentionally giving false information or planting false evidence to hinder the officer’s ability to perform official duties.

An example of obstructing an officer would be if you witnessed your friend commit a burglary. Specifically, you watched them break a window of a home to gain entry and carry out a felony offense. However, when the cop questioned you about the incident, you told them that the owner of the house let your friend in. In this situation, you could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. If convicted, you could be penalized by up to 9 months in jail and up to $10,000 in fines.

If you provide false information or fake evidence to an officer, your statement or evidence is presented in a criminal trial, and the defendant – an innocent person – is convicted of the offense, you could be charged with a Class H felony. A conviction carries a prison term of up to 6 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

Right to Remain Silent

Although lying to a police officer is a chargeable offense, if law enforcement officials have arrested and are planning to question you about a crime, you are protected under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. In such a situation, you can invoke your right to remain silent and wait to have an attorney present before providing any statements to the police.

For Aggressive Legal Defense, Contact the Law Offices of Christopher J. Cherella

If you were charged with misinforming a police officer, get seasoned legal representation from our attorney. We have over 25 years of experience, and we will provide personalized attention to develop a solid legal strategy on your behalf and fight accusations. Understanding that being found guilty of a crime could dramatically impact your future, we will work toward getting charges reduced or dropped, minimizing the potential consequences of a conviction on your life.

Schedule your free consultation by calling us at (414) 882-8382 or contacting us online.

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