Before I get to this week’s column, I just want to remind readers to please email or mail your questions to me. Unfortunately the older I get the more I forget. Unfortunately the older I get the more I forget (OK, you have to admit you chuckled before you rolled your eyes). Asking me a question in public, to use in a column, is one sure way that you’ll probably never get your answer.With memory in mind I do want to send out an apology to Anthony (you know who you are even though I didn’t) who I kept calling Brian a few weeks ago.
Q: First of all, this is a hypothetical question. If a person allowed a friend who committed a crime to hide in their house and then told the police that person was not there, could the person lying get into any kind of trouble with the law?—Jim
A: Yes, that person could get to spend time with the hiding-out criminal-friend if it was discovered that the individual was lying about a known criminal-friend being in their house. If the person did not know but then was told the person they were hiding was wanted either for a crime or a warrant then that could be probable cause to get them arrested too.
This law pertains to Idaho code 18-705 which reads; RESISTING AND OBSTRUCTING OFFICERS. Every person who wilfully resists, delays or obstructs any public officer, in the discharge, or attempt to discharge, of any duty of his office or who knowingly gives a false report to any peace officer, when no other punishment is prescribed, is punishable by a fine not exceeding $1,000, and imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year.
This code can also be used as an added charge if the police officer was placing somebody under arrest and they refused to cooperate with being arrested. Sometimes just having one charge is a better deal because adding the charge of resisting arrest can give a history to a person’s arrest record and could help determine how many cops might show up the next time if they got arrested in the future.
I would hope that anybody put into a position of lying for a criminal-friend would do the right thing so they could visit their friend at the jail and not alongside them in the jail. Honesty can keep a person, who did nothing wrong, free.
Please put this officer who lost his fight with cancer and his family in your prayers.
- Lieutenant Russell (Russ) J Rasmussen, Mini-Cassia Criminal Justice Center
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