As the coronavirus continues to spread throughout the U.S, many individuals are turning to social media to occupy their time while under mandatory or self-quarantine. While social media is a great way to stay connected with friends and family as well as keep up with local news and health updates, it is also a place to share important information regarding COVID-19. With that said, it is extremely important that if you are going to share information pertaining to the coronavirus that you aren’t circulating false reports as it could result in criminal charges being imposed.
In fact, a 23-year-old man in Texas was recently charged by the Tyler County District Attorney’s Office for “knowingly communicating, initiating, or circulating a false report/false alarm of COVID-19 that one knows is false or baseless,” reports the New York Post. The news source says that the man, who the Daily Mail has identified as Michael Lane Brandin, allegedly announced on his Facebook account last weekend that he tested positive for the virus at Tyler County Hospital.
In Brandin’s post, he also said that he “was informed by medical professionals in Tyler County that the virus had become airborne.” The post “caused panic on phone lines for both the hospital and authorities.” Police later arrested the man and he is now facing charges for the false claims he made. The source says that while the state has recorded 64 cases of coronavirus, none of those came out of Tyler County as of March 17th.
Were you criminally charged in Oklahoma for making a false statement?
Aside from it being against the law to “knowingly communicate, initiate, or circulate a false report/false alarm of COVID-19 that one knows is false or baseless,” it is also illegal for an individual to provide a false statement to the police or even in an affidavit. Did you know that any person who “knowingly makes or causes to be made a false statement in an affidavit shall be guilty of perjury and be liable for actual damages suffered or incurred by any person or other entity as a result or consequences of the making of or reliance upon such false affidavit” [Source: Okla.Stat.tit.16, §85].
If you are facing criminal charges in OK for lying to police or making a false statement against someone else, or you were charged with a different type of crime, the Oklahoma criminal defense lawyers at The Henson Law Firm, PLLC are here to defend you. You can reach an OK criminal defense attorney now at 918-551-8995 to discuss your charges.
The Henson Law Firm, PLLC is located at:
601 S. Boulder, Suite 600
Tulsa, OK 74119