What Legal Recourse to False Accusation of Open-Carry Violation?

March 13, 2016 AD

open carry lawful in Texas since January 1 2016
Photo by TheTruthAboutGuns.com 

If a licensed open-carry Texan is falsely accused, what should be the remedy?

Look to the Bible for an appropriate response to someone who maliciously lies about you and your open-carry firearm to get a policeman to come to the scene.

I quote Deuteronomy chapter 19, New Living Translation:

16 “If a malicious witness comes forward and accuses someone of a crime,
17 then both the accuser and accused must appear before the LORD by coming to the priests and judges in office at that time.
18 The judges must investigate the case thoroughly. If the accuser has brought false charges against his fellow Israelite,
19 you must impose on the accuser the sentence he intended for the other person. In this way, you will purge such evil from among you.
20 Then the rest of the people will hear about it and be afraid to do such an evil thing.
21 You must show no pity for the guilty! Your rule should be life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.

Applying the above to contemporary law and courts, I see a two point remedy to false accusations.

First, it is unlawful to make a false report to law enforcement. The offender (the liar who makes a false report) must be prosecuted under Texas Penal Code, Title 8, Section 37 which states:

Sec. 37.08. FALSE REPORT TO PEACE OFFICER, FEDERAL SPECIAL INVESTIGATOR, OR LAW ENFORCEMENT EMPLOYEE. (a) A person commits an offense if, with intent to deceive, he knowingly makes a false statement that is material to a criminal investigation and makes the statement to:
(1) a peace officer or federal special investigator conducting the investigation; or
(2) any employee of a law enforcement agency that is authorized by the agency to conduct the investigation and that the actor knows is conducting the investigation.
(b) In this section, “law enforcement agency” has the meaning assigned by Article 59.01, Code of Criminal Procedure.
(c) An offense under this section is a Class B misdemeanor.

Second, applying Deuteronomy chapter 19, the falsely accused must seek an attorney to sue the person who made the false accusation. You would do this after the District Attorney files charges against the accuser, which charges result in a conviction. By following the criminal process, you will have ample grounds for a lawsuit in which you recover your good name and financial restitution.

The above is my opinion and my plan of action and is not intended to be a substitute for professional legal advice. You should consult an attorney for legal advice.

John White
Rockwall, Texas

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