False Reporting of a Crime in Rhode Island

A Rhode Islander made news recently when after self-inflicting a stab wound, he made a false report to the police regarding how the injury came to be. David Pastore reported that he was stabbed by an anonymous person close to a Family Dollar store. Pastore later admitted to the false statement, requested mental help, and was ordered to appear in court in April 2013.

What penalties does Pastore stand to face?  Under Chapter 11-32 Rhode Island Obstructing Justice, and under Title Code 11-32-2 for False Reporting of a Crime, violators face:

  • Up to one year in prison and/or:
  • Up to $500 in fines,
  • Victim restitution if it applies

The elements of this crime include:

  • The accused knew that he or she were making an inaccurate statement to the police
  • The statement could be verbal or written
  • The statement was made to law enforcement, prosecutors or a jury

In this and other cases of obstructing justice, a defense attorney can present several strategies to reduce sentencing. The judge will typically weigh the following factors:

  • Pastore’s criminal history
  • His intents for furnishing the statement to the police
  • Pastore’s mental health records

An RI attorney could furthermore argue that alternative sentencing in a mental health facility would present a better outcome for society rather than spending time in prison.

In other cases of making false statements, the situation may be entirely different. One of the typical defenses is that a defendant made a false statement in good faith – meaning they believed at the time it were true.

If you’re facing criminal charges for perjury or obstructing justice, contact the law offices of John R. Grasso at 401-272-4001.

Source: Providence Journal News