2020 Georgia Code
Title 16 - Crimes and Offenses
Chapter 10 - Offenses Against Public Administration
Article 2 - Obstruction of Public Administration and Related Offenses
§ 16-10-26. False Report of a Crime

Universal Citation: GA Code § 16-10-26 (2020)

A person who willfully and knowingly gives or causes a false report of a crime to be given to any law enforcement officer or agency of this state is guilty of a misdemeanor.

(Code 1933, § 26-2509, enacted by Ga. L. 1968, p. 983, §§ 1, 2; Ga. L. 1969, p. 857, § 11.)

Cross references.

- Criminal penalty for knowingly making false report of theft or conversion of motor vehicle, § 40-3-92.


No civil duty imposed by criminal statute.

- Injured party was not able to recover under O.C.G.A. § 51-1-6 for the declarant's alleged violation of the criminal statutes O.C.G.A. § 16-10-26, prohibiting giving a false report of a crime, and O.C.G.A. § 16-10-24, prohibiting obstructing or hindering the police, as these statutes did not provide for a civil cause of action; furthermore, the legislature provided statutory civil remedies in the form of false arrest under O.C.G.A. § 51-7-1 and malicious prosecution under O.C.G.A. § 51-7-40. Jastram v. Williams, 276 Ga. App. 475, 623 S.E.2d 686 (2005).


- Evidence was insufficient to prove venue for charges of making a false writing and making a false police report because, despite the fact that the state introduced evidence to show where the defendant allegedly committed the crimes, the state did not prove that the city was entirely within the forum county. Lembcke v. State, 277 Ga. App. 110, 625 S.E.2d 505 (2005).

Conviction authorized by evidence. See Dunn v. State, 169 Ga. App. 368, 312 S.E.2d 851 (1983); Gibson v. State, 243 Ga. App. 610, 533 S.E.2d 783 (2000).

Application of the rule of lenity.

- Defendant's conduct, as charged, subjected the defendant to prosecution and sentencing under both O.C.G.A. §§ 16-10-20 and16-10-26 as the defendant willfully and knowingly made a false statement to law-enforcement officers by falsely reporting a crime the defendant alleged to have occurred in the officers' jurisdiction. Because the two statutes provided different grades of punishment for the same criminal conduct, the defendant was entitled to the rule of lenity. Gordon v. State, 334 Ga. App. 633, 780 S.E.2d 376 (2015).

Defendants' felony convictions for making false statements had to be vacated and the defendants resentenced for misdemeanor making a false report of a crime because the defendants' conduct, as charged, subjected the defendants to prosecution and sentencing under both O.C.G.A. §§ 16-10-20 and16-10-26, which provided different grades of punishment, entitling the defendants to the rule of lenity. Marlow v. State, 339 Ga. App. 790, 792 S.E.2d 712 (2016).

Evidence sufficient for conviction.

- Despite the defendant's claim that the defendant did not use the specific words "reckless conduct" or "aggravated assault" or name the crime the defendant alleged a school superintendent committed, the defendant's statements were sufficient to support a conviction for making a false report of a crime as O.C.G.A. § 16-10-26 does not require specific language as an element of the crime. Knowles v. State, 342 Ga. App. 344, 801 S.E.2d 582 (2017).

Cited in Del Rio v. State, 171 Ga. App. 381, 320 S.E.2d 236 (1984); Williams v. State, 171 Ga. App. 807, 321 S.E.2d 386 (1984); Veal v. State, 211 Ga. App. 879, 440 S.E.2d 762 (1994); Draper v. Reynolds, 278 Ga. App. 401, 629 S.E.2d 476 (2006); Evans v. State, 287 Ga. App. 74, 651 S.E.2d 363 (2007); Ferman v. Bailey, 292 Ga. App. 288, 664 S.E.2d 285 (2008).


Maintenance of records by Georgia Crime Information Center regarding violations of former Code 1933, § 26-2509 (see now O.C.G.A. § 16-10-26). See 1976 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 76-33.



- 67 C.J.S., Obstructing Justice or Governmental Administration, § 34.

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