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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?

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Attorney answers 2

Posted

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.

Asker

Posted

They did have a lawyer, and notarized statements and the Judge and DA both started yelling at the lawyer! They want "someone" to go to jail, their exact words. They just want the win, no matter the truth. Its really scarey that the Judge and DA would knowingly do this to an innocent man.

Cynthia Russell Henley

Cynthia Russell Henley

Posted

The judge has nothing to do with it except when the person is testifying. I practice regularly in Harris County - 23 years. I know all of the 22 felony court judges. I cannot imagine this scene occurring.

Asker

Posted

I can not either but it is. My brother in law is in jail and the "victim" is his 15 year old daughter. He is in Galveston. They threatened to send my sister to jail as well stating that she must have made her step daughter recount her statement. They denied the appeal and said if they perused it further they would all be sitting in jail until the trial. My sister is at home with no job, no money and 3 baby girls while the DA knows the truth and will not let my brother in law go. The lawyer presented notarized statements and the DA won't take them!

Cynthia Russell Henley

Cynthia Russell Henley

Posted

Oh - he is not in Harris County. I thought it was in Harris County because that is where you are posting. Different animal in Galveston. So has your brother been convicted already? If so, did he plead guilty or have a trial? I'm confused by your reference to appeal. Who is the lawyer?

Asker

Posted

I think he ignorantly took a plea bargain and probation initially, with a stipulation that if there was any more trouble from her that it would be revoked. CPS was called by her school because there was a rumor that she was pregnant, the Judge revoked his probation and threw him in jail. His daughter then came forward and stated that it was all a lie that her mother put her up to so that she would get custody and not have to pay child support. They want a trial but they said it will be months before that happens, tried to make him sign another deal but he refused because he is innocent, so they threw him in jail for 75 days I think. The lawyer is named Paul Valdivieso. The original statement was in Oct of 2008

Posted

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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