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You may hate someone so much that you claim things about them that causes them to lose their friends and, sometimes, even their job. California Civil Code § 45 covers libel where false claims and accusations appear in print through writing, a picture, effigy, or other insinuating manner. In some cases, the claims could be true, but there must be documentation of it.

Such publications can cause that person to be subjected to hate, contempt, and ridicule. Other social punishment outcomes are that the person is shunned and avoided, and such actions may cause the loss of a job.

California Civil Code § 46 a slanderous act of verbally charging another person of committing a crime, leading to injuries to that person in his or her profession, trade or business, and other damages. You should always be careful of what you state another person has done, without having some type of proof to back it up.

We assume that when we read things in the news about a criminal act that someone is suspected of doing, that there must be some truth behind it. Politics and news reporting are a combination that sometimes, can get it wrong. Public figures have less recourse to get satisfaction than do private citizens, but public figures have more clout in fighting back.

If those charges are found to be false, that person will be guilty of a misdemeanor and sentenced

Criminal False Charges

Someone may claim that another person did a criminal act and make a signed statement accordingly. This can be a charge of sexual assault, a charge of rape, or sexual molestation of a child, all of which can be taken to trial. The subject of the charge could be arrested, losing his or her freedom. When the charges are found to be false, the accuser can face misdemeanor charges, jail time of up to six months, and a fine.

California Penal Code § 148.5 covers the subject of false charges, to whom those false charges were made, and what the consequences are if the charges are found to be false. The charges might be made to peace officers, any employee of a state or local agency, or to a grand jury, and if those charges are found to be false, that person will be guilty of a misdemeanor and sentenced.

Repercussions of False Charges

The subject of a charge of a criminal action can find him or herself without a job, the loss of a home if bills are not paid, due to job loss, and other unpleasant outcomes, including the loss of a marriage if the spouse believes the charges. When it is discovered that the charges were false, aside from being guilty of a misdemeanor, the perpetrator may end up in civil court.

Suing for Damages

Those who have lost a substantial amount because of the false charges can sue for compensation and damages, including emotional distress. When losing a house, a job, sustaining emotional distress, and more, compensation cases of this magnitude fall under the Unlimited Jurisdiction category. Here, you can sue for $25,000 or more.

Have Supporting Documentation

If you are charging that someone committed a crime, either against you or to another person, have supporting documentation to back it up. Simply stating it is so, will not get you far in a court of law.

If you have been accused of a crime, call us at once for a consultation. 619-234-2300

Author Photo

Kerry L. Armstrong

Attorney Kerry Armstrong opened up his law firm, the Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC, in June 2007. Prior to that, he was employed as the senior associate attorney for a large criminal defense firm in San Diego for nine years, eventually being placed in charge of that firm’s branch office in downtown San Diego. At one point, he was managing six attorneys at that firm, as well as several support staff and law clerks.

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