Law: What Are The Penalties For Lying?
Lying is a bad habit. But, in the eyes of the law, it is also an offence punishable by heavy penalties. When it comes to filling out an official document, cheating a little with the truth can cost you dearly. We suggest you find out what the penalties are for lying, on your CV or tax return for example.
Embellish your CV
Even if it is natural for a job applicant to embellish his or her professional background in order to present himself or herself in the best possible light, it is better to avoid declaring imaginary language or computer skills on your CV.
You risk being found out at the first interview with your future employer.
But the worst thing would be to claim degrees you don't have. If a false diploma motivated your hiring, you could be discharged for serious misconduct and have your employment contract cancelled without compensation.
Even more seriously, the usurpation of certain diplomas (of doctor or lawyer for example) exposes you to heavy penalties. For this type of lie, you risk up to 1 year in prison and a €15,000 fine.
Driving with a false license
In France, an estimated 3 million motorists drive with a fake license.
Even if you don't manage to get a driver's license or you have lost all your points, don't even think about it! Indeed, this lie can cost you a lot of money.
Driving with a falsified license exposes you to a penalty of up to 5 years in prison and a €75,000 fine, as well as additional penalties such as immediate immobilization of the vehicle and its confiscation.
Worse still, if you cause a road accident, you will not be covered by your insurance.
In some cases, the amounts involved in compensating victims are so high that this accident could put you in debt for life.
Make a fake sanitary pass
Since the generalization of the health pass in France, the idea of making a false document may have crossed your mind...
But beware: the Penal Code provides very severe penalties for anyone who produces or uses a false document.
This lie, which is less trivial than it seems, can earn you up to 3 years in prison and a €45,000 fine.
In addition, if you borrow the health pass of a namesake or a relative, you expose yourself to the fixed fine of 135 €. Be aware, moreover, that the penalty can rise to 3750 € and 6 months imprisonment in the event of a repeat offence.
Cheating on your tax return
If you 'forget' to declare certain income to the tax authorities, such as your Airbnb rentals, your end-of-year bonus or the sale of handmade creations, your little lies to the tax authorities can cost you dearly.
In the event of a tax audit, you will not only have to pay the tax due, but also interest and penalties of up to 80%.
Moreover, in case of fraud on your part, the tax adjustment instead of being limited to the last three years to go back to the last ten years.
To be noted: be aware, however, that you have a right to make an error on your tax return. If your errors, omissions or inaccuracies are not deliberate, you have the opportunity to correct your tax return without incurring penalties.
Increase your income to get a loan
On the other hand, it is sometimes tempting to inflate one's income in order to obtain a mortgage from a bank.
Indeed, banks generally refuse to grant a loan when the monthly payments represent more than 35% of the borrower's income.
Even if you've found your dream home and your budget is a little too tight, give up the temptation to present false pay slips or falsify your tax notice.
Again, this lying can cost you dearly. If your bank catches on to the deception, they can require immediate repayment of your loan in its entirety, i.e. interest AND principal.
Lying to your insurer
When it comes to insurance, too, there is sometimes a temptation to make a few little arrangements with the truth.
But forgetting to report a health problem or declaring oneself the primary driver of a vehicle used by one's child who is a novice driver constitute false declarations with serious consequences.
In the event of proven bad faith, the Insurance Code allows your insurer to consider that you were never insured.
This means that the insurer can refuse to compensate you for a current claim or even claim return of past compensation, while keeping your premiums.
When it comes to insurance, other lies are even more serious. If you report a false claim, such as a fire or theft, in the hope of pocketing the jackpot, you face an insurance fraud fine of up to 375,000€ and 5 years in prison.