The Iowa crime of False Reports to or Communications with Public Safety Entities, sometimes referred to as making a false statement, is defined by Iowa Code section 718.6 as follows:
1. A person who reports or causes to be reported false information to a fire department, a law enforcement authority, or other public safety entity, knowing that the information is false, or who reports the alleged occurrence of a criminal act knowing the act did not occur, commits a simple misdemeanor, unless the alleged criminal act reported is a serious or aggravated misdemeanor or felony, in which case the person commits a serious misdemeanor.
2. A person who telephones an emergency 911 communications center knowing that the person is not reporting an emergency or otherwise needing emergency information or assistance commits a simple misdemeanor.
3. A person who knowingly provides false information to a law enforcement officer who enters the information on a citation commits a simple misdemeanor, unless the criminal act for which the citation is issued is a serious or aggravated misdemeanor or felony, in which case the person commits a serious misdemeanor.
Charges for False Reports to or Communications with Public Safety Entities in Iowa are often filed in cases where a person is accused of making a false police report or false 911 call. However, there is a simple misdemeanor version of the crime that occurs simply by making a call to 911 when there is no emergency, even if no fake emergency is reported.
The simple misdemeanor version of False Reports to or Communications with Public Safety Entities carries up to 30 days in the county jail for those who are convicted, while the serious misdemeanor version can result in a sentence of up to 1 year in the county jail.