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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 110506
Experience:  Attorney with over 20 years law enforcement, prosecution, civil rights and defense experience
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I was in a rear end collision. Both driver where uninjured,

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I was in a rear end collision. Both driver where uninjured, no police where contacted, and no pictures where taken. all that happend was insurance was swapped and the other guy said he didnt care and prob would not report and we both drove off. So, being a fool i filed a false report that i had been hit and run on in a parking lot. I later realized my stupidity and contacted his and mine insurance to set things straight. However, i am very concerned that the false report is going to cause me a great deal of trouble. What should I do and am I possibly looking a serious penalties?
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

I am sorry to hear this has happened. In a case of filing a false report, even though you are sorry and tried to correct it, the crime was committed at the time you filed the report. In MO, this is called making a false declaration, which is a violation of MO Statute 575.060 and it is a class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in jail and up to a $500 fine.

The bigger problem is if you made any false claims to the insurance company because that is insurance fraud and it is a felony and much more serious, even if you tried to correct it later. I do not know if you made any false claims to the insurer as it was not clear above from what you told me, so I am answering with the information just in case you did.

If you did not make any false claims to the insurance company, then the false declaration charge is rarely prosecuted in MO and even if it is on a first offense you are likely to get a deferred sentence and fine and after 12 months they will agree to dismiss the case and expunge.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Please clarify false claims. So I may better provide you with relevant information. I did make a claim to my insurance company but, I called them back and made the correction within the same day and I made no claim with the other persons insurance. I know that is probably irrelevant. And that I am screwed. Is there anything you can recommend I do. I am very afraid because I have worked so hard my whole life only to do this one stupid act that from what it sounds like may jeopardize everything I have worked for. Please if there is any advice you can further give it would be more than appreciated. I am very frighten at the moment.

Thank you for your additional information.

Filing a false claim occurs as soon as you made the false claim with your insurance company, does not matter you called back the same day and recanted according to the law. It is up to the insurance company to decide to pursue you or to just let it go, but it is grounds for them to deny your claim at the very least.

If you are contacted by either insurance company again, because there are potential criminal implications here, please make no more statements about this to them and you need to immediately hire a local attorney to represent you and have them handle any further communication with the insurance because anything more you tell them can be used against you if they decide to arrest you for insurance fraud.

One thing in your favor is if the damage did occur and was the fault of the other party, then their insurance will usually pay upon proof their client did indeed cause your damage, regardless of the false police report.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The accident was neither of our faults. It was rush hour on a very busy highway off ramp when a large green (I believe is was a Silverado) did't see me and was about to side swipe me. In avoiding the side swipe I rear ended the other driver. Is that of any significance? Please be brutally honest: is this something I should be losing sleep over? As in on the "Oh, Crap" meter "1" being lowest "10" being the highest where would this fall? And should I consider turning myself into the police? Or wait and see what happens before taking action?

Thank you for your response.

The problem is that while another vehicle may have caused your accident, the courts hold that the vehicle striking from the rear is legally at fault. You should not be losing sleep unless the insurance calls you and wants more of a statement from you and in that case you need to not make any further statements and get an attorney to represent you immediately.

Usually, for the false report they will do nothing, it is only the insurance fraud case if the insurance company wants to push the issue that you have to really worry about and as I said if they call you back for another statement you need just get a local attorney at that time.
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