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What is the statute of limitations for filing a false police report in Houston, TX?

Houston, TX |

A person filed a false report accusing someone of sexual assault. The person was arrested, the supposed victim tried to recount their statement and was threatened with jail time herself. Now a innocent man is sitting in jail and the girl who is trying to do the right thing is scared she will go to jail too if she confesses. The report was made nearly 2 years ago, can they really still throw her in jail?

Attorney Answers 2


  1. Making a false police report is a Class B misdemeanor for which the statute of limitations is 2 years. The statute begins to run on the date that the report is made.

    If the complainant made a false police report accusing someone of sexual assault, then she needs to fix it - period. Such a claim could result in up to a life sentence and lifetime registration as a sex offender. People get convicted on these types of accusations all the time, even when they are innocent as we have seen with all the DNA exonerations.

    If she tells a prosecutor that she lied when she made the report, it is not surprising that they would at least imply that she could be prosecuted as their case is falling apart as they sit there listening. Perhaps she should have a lawyer go with her so she will be stronger in her committment to do the right thing. No prosecutor is going to talk that crap with a lawyer sitting beside her. (Moreover, her recantation is considered to be exculpatory information which the prosecution is required to turn over to the defense under a case called Brady v. Maryland. I'm willing to bet her attempt to recant was not told by the prosecutor to the defense - a bit of information that the defense could definitely use to their advantage.)

    Although I have answered the question to try to help you, you should consult with a lawyer in your area in person on the matter. In addition, my answer does not establish an attorney-client relationship between us.


  2. Making a false police report is a Class B misdemeanor for which the statute of limitations is 2 years. The statute begins to run on the date that the report is made.
    It is typical for prosecutors to threaten a recanting complainant for saying they lied in their original accusation. I would suggest making sure the accused defense lawyer is informed of the complainant's new statements recanting her accusation.

    Notice: The information contained herein is intended as general legal information and does not create an attorney-client relationship and is not governed by confidentiality rules. This general legal information is not a substitute for seeking the direct advice of legal counsel.

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