The concept of knowingly false denunciation, signs of an offense and penalties

A knowingly false denunciation constitutes a crime against justice, since it violates the procedural order and interferes with the normal activities of the investigative authorities (Chapter 31 of the Criminal Code). This unlawful act entails criminal liability under Art. 306 of the Criminal Code. However, in practice, law enforcement officials prefer to classify a false denunciation as not intentional and, therefore, not a basis for initiating a criminal case. However, in addition to premeditation, this crime contains other characteristics.

Statement of knowingly false denunciation, sample:

Qualifying signs of a knowingly false denunciation

An untruthful slander is such offenses that consist of accusing a specific person of committing any crime and providing such information to employees of those law enforcement agencies that have the right to initiate a criminal case on this fact. These organizations include:

  1. Prosecutor's Office;
  2. Police Department;
  3. Customs authorities;
  4. Bodies of inquiry and investigation;
  5. Tax authorities, etc.

The attacker deliberately reports to law enforcement authorities about the execution of an illegal act, but he certainly knows that no such actions were committed. If the offender states solely about the possibility or characteristics of the offense, we are talking about libel. A statement in a newspaper is also considered libel.

Slander is different from a deliberately false denunciation

A knowingly false denunciation differs from slander. The differences are quite significant, despite the external similarity of the phenomena. Slander is quite common and is defined as the dissemination of knowingly false information about another person. At the same time, not every slander can be interpreted as a false denunciation.

The main difference between slander and a deliberately false denunciation is that false information expressed about another person can acquire the status of a false denunciation only when announced in the presence of government officials capable of initiating a criminal case. The list of such institutions includes:

  • bodies of inquiry;
  • prosecutor's office;
  • police Department;
  • investigative authorities;
  • Customs;
  • tax office.

For example, a citizen reports that a person known to him committed a crime, although in fact he does not have such information. Such a statement made in the presence of employees of one of these institutions is a false denunciation.

If a citizen says that a criminal act is being committed, but without specifying the facts, the reported data is slander, but not a false denunciation. Accusing any person in the media is also not considered a knowingly false denunciation. In this case we are also talking about libel.

Some types of false denunciation are qualified using not Article 306 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, but using Art. 307 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (false testimony of witnesses) or Art. 207 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (report of a terrorist act). False denunciation in Article 285 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation prescribes punishment for officials who exceed their powers.

Features constituting a crime

To qualify a crime as a knowingly false denunciation, it must meet several conditions.

Object of false denunciation

Providing false information is directed against judicial and investigative authorities who are forced to spend time and money investigating an uncommitted crime. An additional object of denunciation is the violated rights of citizens whose dignity and honor have been called into question. There are also cases where victims were unjustly convicted and subjected to penalties.

Subject of the crime

Persons aged 16 years and older who have legal capacity may be held liable for providing false information. This applies only to private individuals. Since officials who have access to the dissemination of incorrect information are liable under another article of the Criminal Code - 285, for abuse of their powers.

Purpose of disinformation

The informer may be guided by the following motives:

  • eliminate an opponent;
  • take revenge on an objectionable person;
  • collect loan debt;
  • evade responsibility for an administrative offense.

Case studies

The most common cases of providing information about an uncommitted crime:

  1. The culprit of the accident claims the car was stolen in order to hide his participation in the accident and avoid liability.
  2. The victim, who was beaten by her husband, contacts law enforcement agencies with a statement about having suffered a robbery attack. In this case, the goal is to obtain insurance for damage to health.

Crimes such as knowingly false denunciation carry a public danger. Firstly, they overload law enforcement agencies, which are forced to conduct checks on non-existent offenses. This disrupts their efforts to solve real crimes. In addition, false accusations can lead to an innocent person being charged and prosecuted. Therefore, a criminal case should always be initiated against a false informer in order to reduce precedents.

Message form

A knowingly false denunciation of the commission of a crime is made orally or in writing:

  • on your own behalf;
  • on behalf of another person;
  • anonymously.

A message that does not have a signature or is signed with a fictitious name cannot serve as a basis for initiating a criminal case. It is clear from this that the informer can be held accountable even if his actions did not lead to criminal prosecution of the victim.

False information

Information provided to law enforcement officials is deliberately false.
That is, they do not correspond to reality, and the applicant is fully aware of this fact at the time of the denunciation. The content of the statement may be completely fictitious or relate to an actual crime committed, but attributed to an innocent person. Please note: only a false denunciation that contains intent (that is, awareness of the falsity of the message) is criminally punishable. If a person is mistaken in good faith (that is, he is confident in the reported offense, which in fact did not occur), then there is no punishment for such denunciation.

Contents of the denunciation

As Article 306 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation indicates, a knowingly false denunciation contains information specifically about a crime or about a specific person (persons) guilty of committing it. A report of any administrative violations or actions contrary to the norms of public morality cannot be considered a denunciation. This is where it differs from slander (Article 128.1 of the Criminal Code), which contains any information discrediting the victim. You can learn about liability for libel from the article

There are some other cases where providing incorrect information is not considered a criminal act or is identified under other articles of the Criminal Code:

  1. Sometimes a message may express the applicant’s disagreement with a court decision, the actions of a prosecutor or investigator, as well as a desire to bring the perpetrator to justice. However, if the actions of these persons do not contain signs of a crime, the statement is not qualified as a false denunciation. Consequently, the applicant is not liable under the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation for a knowingly false denunciation.
  2. When false information concerns periodically committed illegal actions, without indicating a specific situation, it can be recognized as slander, but not a false denunciation. For example, the statement alleges that a certain official regularly takes bribes. Here is more information about extorting a bribe.
  3. If a defendant in any case provides incorrect information in an attempt to defend himself and shift the blame to another person, these actions are not recognized as a false denunciation.
  4. A witness for providing knowingly false information in court is prosecuted under Art. 307 of the Criminal Code.
  5. A knowingly false report about an act of terrorism is qualified under Art. 207 of the Criminal Code.

Another offense related to the provision of false information is the preparation of a false expert opinion by a court-appointed specialist during a judicial hearing of a case. Read about the responsibility of an expert for giving a knowingly false opinion in the article

Contacting law enforcement agencies

A message is recognized as a false denunciation if it is transmitted to persons authorized to open a criminal case. That is, law enforcement officers:

  • police department;
  • customs office;
  • tax office;
  • bodies of inquiry;
  • investigative committee;
  • prosecutor's office.

If defamatory information is reported to the victim’s neighbors, colleagues, superiors, or disseminated in the media, they are identified as slander, but not as a false denunciation.

To learn about prosecution for knowingly false denunciation, watch the following video

Completion of the crime

A false denunciation is considered completed at the moment the application is received by an authorized person. The consequences of this action - verification of the specified information, investigation, making a decision are no longer part of the crime. However, they can be taken into account when determining the severity of a given illegal act. Thus, subsequent information expressed by the informer at the preliminary investigation or court hearing is not qualified under Article 307 of the Criminal Code as knowingly false testimony.

Types of false denunciation

The composition of a knowingly false denunciation as a crime may be aggravated by additional circumstances:

  1. Accusing the victim of committing a grave or especially grave crime (Part 2 of Article 306 of the Criminal Code).
  2. Creation of artificial evidence confirming the guilt of the victim (Part 3 of Article 306 of the Criminal Code).

How to prosecute for false denunciation

To prosecute a person for knowingly false denunciation, it is necessary to make sure that his crime has elements.

The objects of this illegal act are:

  1. The interests of law enforcement agencies, since such a message is essentially unreliable and its consideration actually interferes with the normal work of the relevant authorities, and also contributes to the waste of resources.
  2. Interests of citizens. The accused citizen experiences some suffering for a false accusation under the relevant article of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, including damage to his honor, dignity and business reputation.

As an objective party, it is envisaged to contact a law enforcement officer with authority. At the same time, the offense was not actually committed, that is, the information about it is implausible.

The subject of a crime is always a citizen (individual), the minimum age for prosecution is sixteen years. The person must have legal capacity.

Direct intent is another condition of the subjective side. In this case, the motive can be completely different, from revenge to financial gain (for example, if accusing a person of a crime promises that a third party will conclude a contract not with him, but with a person who has knowingly committed a false denunciation).

Only if there is a corpus delicti and each of its parts is it theoretically possible to bring to criminal liability for a knowingly false denunciation.

However, in practice, the article is not used so often. In most cases, the law enforcement officer does not consider intent in the act, pointing out that the applicant has false information or information.

The article for knowingly making a false denunciation can be applied at the initiative of the relevant authorities. They can also be brought in after a statement from a person who was previously accused. If a group of people is found guilty, then strict disciplinary action will be taken for complicity.

What is the threat to the informer?

The irresponsible attitude of some citizens towards their words and actions can have serious consequences for them. Moreover, this act can hardly be classified as “frivolous”.

Only a person without signs of mental illness is subject to prosecution under the law. That is, the person who sent a knowingly false denunciation must be legally competent.

The informer, if his plan is revealed, himself becomes the object of prosecution under the law. At any time during the investigation the intent of the criminal and the falsity of his information are revealed, criminal prosecution against the victim is terminated. At the same time, a criminal case is initiated against the informer and the witnesses who gave false testimony. The materials of the first case can serve as evidence of their guilt.

A citizen who has reached the age of 16 can be considered the subject of such a crime. From this time on, a person must be aware of the legal consequences and bear responsibility for misconduct to the fullest extent of the law.

Statement of false denunciation

An application for a false denunciation to the police is filed by a citizen who was originally accused. In order to achieve a positive result, that is, the initiation of criminal proceedings under Article 306 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (knowingly false denunciation), the application must meet the following requirements:

  1. The application must refer to the decision to refuse to initiate a criminal case, which will confirm the fact that incorrect information was provided to law enforcement agencies.
  2. It is advisable to describe the crime in the statement. Otherwise, the employee may refuse due to his absence. Theoretically, the applicant is not required to sign it, but this will be a big plus and will increase the chance of a positive outcome of the case.
  3. The application must be accompanied by a package of documents that confirm the information.

The punishment for false denunciation will depend on a number of circumstances, for example, on the type of crime:

  • false denunciation (Article 306, part 1);
  • the same action if it concerned a grave or especially grave crime (part 2);
  • the same actions, subject to the artificial creation of evidence (part 3).

The application must indicate the article, preferably part of it. However, if a person cannot independently qualify the situation, then a police officer must do this. Only a complete and comprehensive presentation of the facts will be sufficient.

Article 306 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, which contains punishment, is rarely invoked in practice.

The main problem is that direct intent is assumed, which must be justified. If he is absent or if there is doubt about his presence, the initiation of a case will be refused.

Intentionally falsely reporting the commission of a crime is itself a crime. It can be expressed in the provision of false information about a planned or already committed unlawful action by another person, with the aim of opening a criminal case. False information may indicate invalid facts in the commission of a crime or be a slander against a person who did not commit the actions specified in the denunciation.

To restore justice, remove guilt from the innocent, find the real criminals and punish false witnesses, you will need to draw up a statement of false denunciation to the police and deliver it in any way convenient for the applicant. This request can be made either in writing or orally. The applicant himself, the person against whom the false denunciation was made, must draw up such a document and send it to the appropriate authority in one of the possible ways, for example: using a postal connection. The letter must be registered with a mandatory receipt stamp.

Also, the plaintiff can personally submit a statement to the police, having in hand 2 copies of the created document: one copy remains with law enforcement officers, and on the second a note is made about its acceptance into the incoming correspondence of the law enforcement agency. An application must be submitted to the police of the city or territorial district where the crime was allegedly committed.

The same appeal can be sent through the official website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation indicating the police department. There is no clear example of a statement about a knowingly false denunciation; it is created in any form, but the document must include basic information:

  1. to whom (the head of the department) the appeal is addressed;
  2. police station address;
  3. surname, name, patronymic of the applicant;
  4. address of the sender of the appeal (so that the police can send a response);
  5. the applicant's contact number for contacting a law enforcement agency.

The application must begin with a request for consideration of the document and its further registration, followed by the initiation of a criminal case on the basis of a false report (based on Article 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). Below are all the facts that can refute the false information of the criminal, data about this person and information about the case under consideration. The statement must contain absolutely all the information that you know that can shift the blame from you to the truly guilty person.

The appeal should end with an indication that you are aware of the responsibility for giving false information in accordance with the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, Art. 306. An appendix is ​​attached to the created document, which lists all the facts and evidence in the case under consideration. This addition is then attached to two copies of the application itself.

The bottom part of the application is the date of creation of the document and the signature of the applicant with a transcript.

After the appeal reaches its addressee, it must be registered within 3 days. After 10 days from the date of registration, law enforcement agencies must initiate a criminal case for reporting false information.

Examples of deliberately false denunciations of a crime

A lie can concern both the entire event of a crime, that is, a person describes those events that did not happen at all, and in the commission of an actual crime by a person who was obviously not involved in its commission.

The most often embellished stories are about losing your phone . Here the statement is accompanied by a fascinating story about theft on public transport. Law enforcement officers will still get to the truth, but the stigma of a criminal case will haunt the applicant for many more years.

Enterprising car owners also convey false facts from judicial practice. After an accident, a report about the theft of a car appears on the police desk.

Another example: citizens also contact the police to report robbery . They say that a phone was snatched on the street, a bag was stolen, etc. But during an inspection by law enforcement agencies, it is established that in fact no one stole anything, and the person himself lost his bag, phone, documents, etc.

Even if the crime was unfinished, then for false information about it the applicant may also face punishment under Art. 306 of the Criminal Code. After all, the very fact of transmitting false information distracts law enforcement officers from really important work.

Many citizens, at the stage of inspections by law enforcement agencies, realize the illegality of their actions and admit that in reality such an incident did not occur.

Reports of an act of terrorism fall into a completely different category . Such denunciation is much more serious and is also prosecuted by the Criminal Code, but under a different article - Art. 207.

If we are talking about officials who committed a false denunciation, then they will not be held accountable under Art. 306, and according to Art. 285 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation “Abuse of official powers”.

When is there no criminal liability for knowingly false denunciation?

A person is not punished in the case when he really does not pursue any selfish goals, he really thinks that a crime has been committed against him.

He writes a statement about the offense with a request to take action, to prosecute such and such a person (or an unknown person).

If during the inspection it is established that no actions were committed on the part of the suspect or the person actually committed certain actions, but from the point of view of the criminal law they are not criminal, that is, there is no corpus delicti, then the applicant is refused to initiate a criminal case .

And the police do not take any action against such an applicant, because the person made a mistake in good faith.

But there is another situation - an obvious incident . For example, a girl files a rape complaint knowing that no one actually committed the crime.

Practice for the period from 2015 to 2022 shows that interrogators and investigators consider the issue of knowingly false denunciation superficially.

Their action is limited to establishing the fact that the applicant did not actually have the intent to make a false accusation. Thus, the case is closed and the applicant is released.

The fact is that it can be difficult to prove the fact of a false denunciation, which is why investigators limit themselves to standard formulations.

They do not want to burden themselves with a large number of criminal cases, so often dishonest applicants do not bear any responsibility.

Criminal punishment for knowingly false denunciation

The classification of the crime is carried out in accordance with parts of Art. about the implementation of an obviously unfair reservation. For such an atrocity, the offender can be held accountable, so the following forms of punishment exist:

  1. A fine of up to 120,000 rubles;
  2. Forced confiscation of the criminal's income for a period of up to a year;
  3. Mandatory physical work for up to 480 hours;
  4. Correctional labor for a period of up to 2 years;
  5. Administrative arrest for up to six months;
  6. Imprisonment of the offender for up to two years.

If aggravating circumstances were present at the time the crime was committed and the victim was accused of committing a serious or especially serious crime, then the offender faces one of the following types of punishment:

  1. A fine from 100 to 300,000 rubles;
  2. Confiscation of income for a period of 2 years;
  3. Forced physical labor for up to three years;
  4. Imprisonment for a period up to those years.

If a truly untruthful denunciation or statement about a person committing a grave or especially grave crime is accompanied by falsification of evidence, then forced labor for up to five years or imprisonment for up to six years can be used as a punishment.

  1. fine;
  2. performing mandatory work;
  3. performing correctional work;
  4. arrest;
  5. deprivation of liberty:
  • up to 2 years,
  • up to 6 years with the creation of artificial evidence (traces, forged documents and other evidence).

If a false denunciation concerns not only the crime itself, but also points to an allegedly guilty person who has committed serious or especially serious acts, then the situation will be considered much more strictly. The minimum punishment in this case begins with a fine of 300 thousand rubles and ends with imprisonment.

Each criminal case is considered individually, therefore responsibility for false denunciation to the police is determined solely by a court decision.

Aggravating circumstances (qualification)

A denunciation containing false information in itself can greatly harm the investigative work and specifically the person against whom it is directed.

It is much worse when a deliberately false denunciation is accompanied by actions that aggravate the guilt of the informer.

  • A denunciation may contain an accusation against a citizen of committing or preparing a grave or especially grave criminal offense.
  • There may be thoughtful and planned actions to organize false evidence and documents. The informer can bribe and intimidate witnesses and provide false evidence.

Usually the purpose of such actions is to eliminate the unwanted person and divert suspicion from the true culprit.

What to do if you have been slandered

Many do not act only because they do not know how to prosecute a criminal for false denunciation, although this is quite simple to do. To punish a liar and remove slander from oneself, it is necessary to write a statement in any form about the false denunciation committed. The application will need to indicate all the facts confirming this crime, and then register the application at the police department at the place where the original crime was committed. From the moment your application is registered, law enforcement agencies will initiate a criminal case for false denunciation within 10 days.

How to prove a knowingly false denunciation in court

The current legislation stipulates how to prove a knowingly false denunciation. It was initially determined that a false denunciation will always be a false accusation of a crime committed by a specific person. In fact, such a statement indicates the person(s) who allegedly committed the criminal act.

As a result, a false crime is formed, which provokes the development of actions aimed at illegally bringing a third party to criminal liability.

The most important sign of a false denunciation in court is that the crime indicated in it is not true. If this fact is proven, the citizen who filed the application will be considered guilty of filing a knowingly false denunciation and will be held accountable.

False denunciation and its differences from slander

The distinction between the concepts of deliberately false denunciation and slander occurs according to certain criteria.


  • Provides information about the commission or preparation of a criminal offense.
  • Contains facts that lead to criminal charges being brought against a specific person. The denunciation may contain information about the citizen’s involvement in both a real crime and a fictitious one.
  • Enters law enforcement agencies that have the right and opportunity to initiate criminal proceedings.

Slander is the spreading of rumors of a defamatory nature. That is, there is a goal (to defame a person), a means (false accusation). But this is not always a deliberately false denunciation, as it is understood by law. It is considered slander if the applicant makes a message:

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  • Information without a criminal component.
  • To bodies that do not have the authority to initiate criminal cases and conduct investigations into them.
  • The information does not contain facts (even fictitious) about the incident.
  • Spreading rumors and gossip in public speech or in the media.

More detailed advice can be obtained from a specialist on our website around the clock.

Compensation for moral damage for knowingly false denunciation

If the investigation establishes that the applicant actually submitted false information regarding the suspect, then he can file a claim in court for moral compensation for knowingly false denunciation.

He can set whatever amount of compensation he wants. But experts advise in this case to use the “golden” rule - the more, the better.

The judge, considering the application, will draw his conclusions and make his decision on the cost of compensation for moral damage to the suspect for false denunciation against him.

On recovery of moral damages for false denunciation

But the applicant may not stop at opening a criminal case. If you really suffered from slander psychologically or your health was damaged, it is enough to find out how to receive moral damages for false denunciation in order to later compensate for your losses.

To do this, you will need to attach a claim for compensation for moral damages to the main statement of knowingly false denunciation. In this case, both requests will be considered during the proceedings in one case. If slander was spread in the case without aggravating circumstances, the application must also be filed in the magistrate’s court, since there is a possibility that you will have to defend your case in private.

Compensation can only occur if you provide sufficient facts to demonstrate your damages. It will also be necessary to prove that the false witness gave false information out of malicious intent; he was confident that the facts provided were not truthful, but still continued to slander.

The guarantee of your success in obtaining compensation is the presence of a witness and testimony from him in your favor. Therefore, it is recommended to ensure the presence of at least one such person in the courtroom.

Arbitrage practice

There are enough examples in judicial practice concerning issues of deliberately false denunciation to get a complete picture of the nuances that may arise in the course of such cases. For this purpose, we present excerpts from several cases considered in court.

Example No. 1.

In January 2016, the man filed a statement of defense against charges of knowingly false denunciation. Law enforcement agencies were the prosecution. The man did not admit his guilt, and the police officer claimed that the citizen knowingly falsely accused him of causing bodily harm.

Due to the fact that the injuries were recorded and there were witness statements in the case, all charges against the man who applied were dropped, and a criminal case was opened against the employee for abuse of official authority.

Example No. 2.

Citizen T. appealed to the district court with a statement that the chief accountant of the enterprise where he is employed periodically commits thefts from his wages.

As a result of such an appeal, a comprehensive audit of all accruals and payments at the enterprise was carried out, during which the facts of theft on the part of the accountant were not proven. At the same time, criminal actions were discovered on the part of the company’s management, who illegally withdrew funds from the company’s cash register during the payment of wages.

Thus, citizen T. was caught and subsequently charged with knowingly false denunciation. The accountant received moral compensation in the amount of 100 thousand rubles, and the head of the enterprise became the guilty party and was also sentenced to a fine and criminal liability.



Court decisions

The basis for prosecution under the law is the presence of intent on the part of the person who sent a knowingly false denunciation. Investigative actions are aimed at proving the presence of this component in order to bring him to justice. Sometimes this is the most difficult point to prove. The person guilty of denunciation usually maintains that he was mistaken and is not subject to punishment.

If there is evidence of a crime, the punishment will depend on the severity of the offense.

  • Accusing a citizen of committing a criminal offense is punishable by a fine of up to 12,000 rubles. or the annual income of the perpetrator. Sanctions in the form of compulsory, corrective or forced labor, arrest for up to 6 months, or imprisonment for up to 2 years.
  • A knowingly false denunciation containing an accusation of a particularly serious crime is punishable by a fine of up to 30,000 rubles. or two years' income of the informer. His term of imprisonment or forced labor will be 3 years.
  • Denunciation, involving the creation of artificial and false evidence of a person’s guilt, is considered especially dangerous for the conduct of investigative measures and the victim himself. In this case, the prison term for the person guilty of knowingly false denunciation will be 6 years, forced labor - 5 years.

Please note that Russian legislation is constantly changing and the information we write may become outdated. In order to resolve the issue you have regarding Criminal Law, we advise you to seek the advice of a lawyer in support of the site. To do this, use the form below or contact the specialist directly on the right side of the screen.

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