Under section 182 of the Penal Code (Cap. 224, 2008 Rev Ed), it is an offence for a person to give any public servant any information he knows or believes to be false. An offender convicted of an offence under this section shall be punished with imprisonment of up to 2 years, or with fine, or with both.
Categories of offences under Section 182 of the Penal Code
Public Prosecutor v Koh Yong Chiah categorised the wide range of misconduct that constituted offences under section 182 of the Penal Code into the following 7 categories:
1.False reports of innocent persons;
2. False information given to the authorities to shield oneself from investigation or prosecution;
3.False information given to the authorities to shield others from investigation or prosecution;
4.False information given to public servants to subvert a public institution’s screening process;
5. False information given to public servants to facilitate fraud on a third party to gain some personal benefit;
6. Cases where the offender was a public servant, who gave false information to another public servant about matters regarding his employment; and
7.A less common situation where the offence involves the offender’s performance of his duties as a public servant. Such offences usually engage a unique type of public interest related to the integrity of the Public Service and the performance of public duties.
Considerations for sentence
The following elements form a non-exhaustive list of factors that are used to determine how serious an offence of giving false information to a public servant is, and may affect the resulting sentence for that offence.
- Malicious intent
- Serious consequences caused
- Gain or benefit derived
- False allegation of crime
- Extensive investigations carried out
- No investigations carried out due to prompt confession
- Injury/loss/distress caused to the public servant or victim
Our client’s story
One of our clients had given false information to the police that she had been gang-raped by 6 Indian men. When the police had conducted checks on the area where the purported rape had occurred, they found no trace of the group that our client had spoken of and no signs that a rape had occurred at that location. She was subsequently charged under section 182 of the Penal Code and decided to plead guilty.
We worked hard in drafting her plea-in-mitigation, citing several mitigating factors and sentencing precedents in her favour. Our criminal lawyer, Ray Louis, was highly persuasive in his oral submissions to the court that our client was keen to move on with her life and a criminal record would make it difficult to do so. The court was convinced by our arguments and had ordered for our client to undergo a Short Detention Order. Under that order, she had to serve 2 weeks in custody but had no criminal record upon release. Please see related article.
We are determined to fight for a fair outcome in your criminal defence case. For more information, please contact our criminal lawyer, Ray Louis, at 9090 8288.