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What happens if you lie to a police officer after you've gotten caught shoplifting?

Gaithersburg, MD |

I got caught stealing at Nordstroms a week ago. The women working in the store asked me the general questions "name, DOB, etc." i completely lied about EVERYTHING! I went into a complete anxiety attack and told her that i was 18 and i gave her a fake DOB (the fake info is actually my friends info.) Long story short, i got arrested b/c my height and weight didn't match up with my friend, they took my picture, and they took my finger prints. I got arrested and the next day i went home. But now my friend got the court papers in the mail, and she wants me to turn myself in. My 1st question is, Can my friend just lie and say she doesn't know who i am? And my 2nd question, If i do turn myself in and admit what i did, what would my punishment be?

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Lying to the employees of Nordstrom is not a crime. Lying to the police could be. If they took your fingerprints when you were arrested it is very possible that they know who you are anyway. Ifntnerebis a pending court matter, and it seems to be that there is, the best advise you can get here is to get yourself an attorney to assist you ASAP. S/he will be in the best position to advise and guide you and help you resolve this matter.


  2. Never go onto the internet and admit committing or attempting to commit a crime. It could come back to haunt you.

    That warning aside, if you gave her your friend's information your friend may have civil claims against you and you may face additional criminal penalties.

    Now your friend will have to hire an attorney and miss work to show up to court. Haven't you learned that lying hasn't gotten you very far yet? Even if she does lie, it wouldn't be too difficult to determine: YOU GAVE HER INFORMATION TO THE POLICE. How else would you know that unless you knew her? So, if she lies now she'll be in even more trouble. If she lies, then its likely the State's Attorney would seek identity theft charges as well (even if she doesn't lie this isn't out of the question).

    Your punishment depends on the judge hearing the case. If the judge senses he's being lied to again and again chances are good that you'll be looking at closer to the maximum penalty.

    You and your friend both need to see SEPARATE lawyers immediately!

    Licensed in MD, PA and DC. This is not legal advice. I am not your attorney. You should consult with an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction regarding your specific circumstances.


  3. I agree with both my colleague. It seems you continued the lie to the police. false information to the police if an offense as is hindering apprehension. Your friend is likely going to give you up to the police and rightfully so. Although the security video should show it is not her. both should get attorneys.


  4. Your problems will be even worse if you persuade your firend to lie. You can add false statement, obstruction of justice, and perjury charges. The punishment depends on the court's judgment about the seriousness of the offense and your record. The maximum penalties should be on your friend's charge papers.

    You should not discuss the facts of your situation in public fora like this, because the state might use it as evidence against you, if it is discovered. Instead, you should have a confidential consultation with an attorney, who can help you before this gets worse.

    Information in the reply is provided as a public service. It is neither a comprehensive statement of the law nor legal advice, and no one should rely on it as such. If you have a legal problem or question, you should consult with an attorney, who can investigate the particular circumstances of your situation. Responding to a post does not constitute legal representation. I am not your lawyer, until we make an agreement and I receive my fee. Beware that posts and replies are not confidential. Anyone can read them.

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