The short answer is—sometimes. There are three general circumstances when lying to the police is considered a crime in Minnesota:
- Lying about your identity;
- Filing a false police report or lying about police misconduct; and
- Lying under oath (perjury).
Lying About your Identity
In Minnesota, it is a misdemeanor to give a fictitious name, date of birth, or identification card to a peace officer or in a criminal proceeding. It is a gross misdemeanor to give the name and date of birth of another existing person to a peace officer or a court official. Minn. Stat. § 609.506.
Filing a False Police Report or Lying About Police Misconduct
Falsely reporting a crime in Minnesota is defined as informing a peace officer that a crime has been committed while knowing the person is a peace officer, knowing the report is false, and intending the officer to rely upon the false report. Minn. Stat. § 609.505.
Lying Under Oath
Under Minnesota law, acts constituting perjury are those when a person makes a false material statement not believing it to be true in specified actions, hearing, proceedings, or writings that are required by law to be made under oath or affirmation. Minn. Stat. § 609.48.
In general, it is highly advisable not to talk to the police without an attorney. Further, as with all legal issues, there are many nuances to lying to the police. If you are charged with a criminal offense or concerned charges may be forthcoming, reach out to one of our attorneys to discuss your options.