Individuals living in California can get in serious trouble if they lie to a police officer. This action can be prosecuted under California Penal Code Section 148.9: False Identification to Police. PC 148.9 is a misdemeanor charge that can have severe repercussions.
PC 148.9 can be a difficult charge to understand if you are working on your own. Fortunately, you can get the legal information you need about an accusation of false identification to police from the professionals at the Simmrin Law Group.
The Definition of False Identification to Police in California
It is against the law to provide a police officer with false information about your identity in California. Individuals can face criminal charges if they lie to the police about their:
- Legal Name
- Date of Birth
- Any Other Identifying Information
In order to be convicted under PC 148.9 a person must purposefully provide false information to a police officer. Individuals may provide this information in order to:
- Avoid Giving Out Accurate Information
- Try to Beat the Court Process
Many people attempt to provide false identification to police after being pulled over for violating:
- California Vehicle Code 23152(a): Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol
- California Vehicle Code 23152(e): Driving Under the Influence of Drugs
However, PC 148.9 charges can apply anytime someone lies to a police officer about their identity.
An Example of a PC 148.9 Violation in California
Many people are not aware of how easy it is to violate PC 148.9. The following example shows a way that people could provide false identification to police in Los Angeles:
Man A is pulled over by a police officer while out driving with some friends after having a few drinks. Man A knows he already has a prior conviction for a DUI, and that the penalties for another conviction will be more severe. Man A decides to claim he is one of the passengers driving with him, Man B. Man B does not have a prior DUI conviction, after all. Man A asks Man B for his license.
The police officer approaches the vehicle and asks to see Man A’s license and registration. Man A hands over Man B’s license and tries to pretend that he is Man B. The police officer is not convinced, and Man A ends up charged with a DUI and false identification to police.
Note that – if Man A had succeeded and signed his ticket as Man B – he could be charged under California Penal Code 529: False Impersonation. False impersonation can be a more serious act that can even be charged as a felony in California.
Understanding the Penalties for a PC 148.9 Conviction
The courts in Los Angeles treat false identification to police as a misdemeanor charge. A conviction under PC 148.9 can lead to up to 6 months of time spent in jail. Individuals may also be forced to pay fines after a conviction.
Note that individuals can face additional penalties if they are pulled over for a DUI or another serious crime. Lying to the police could cause the court to punish an individual more harshly for the crime they were initially accused of.
Building a Legal Defense to False Identification to Police Charges
Many people are not sure how to go about defending themselves for charges for false identification to police. There are a number of legal defenses that can work to beat this charge, including:
You Did Not Know You Were Speaking to a Police Officer
Lying is generally frowned upon in our society. However, there is a legal difference between lying to a police officer and lying to someone else. If you legitimately did not realize you were speaking with a police officer, you may be able to beat a PC 148.9 charge.
Individuals who contact a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles will have a better chance of beating a PC 148.9 charge. It is important that you reach out to a legal professional right away if you or a family member has been accused of false identification to police.
Get the Help You Need to Handle Charges Under PC 148.9
Individuals accused of lying to the police can end up in serious legal trouble. The courts prosecute violations of California Penal Code Section 148.9: False Identification to Police very severely. You can get help handling this legal situation by contacting the Simmrin Law Group for a FREE case evaluation.
Let us focus on building your case. Complete our online contact form or call (310) 997-4688 to get started.