California only allows individuals to legally possess a driver’s license or I.D. card that was issued by the state. Residents can face serious criminal charges if they possess or display fake identification. This action can even be prosecuted under California Penal Code Section 470b: Possession of a Fake Driver’s License.
Find out more about fake driver’s licenses right here with the Simmrin Law Group. Make sure you review the penalties for a PC 470b conviction. This article can even help you go over some common legal defenses for possession of a fake driver’s license charges.
Defining the Possession of a Fake Driver’s License in California
Penal Code Section 470b makes it illegal for anyone in California to display or possess any type of fake identification. The court system defines fake identification as any government-issued driver’s license or I.D. card that was:
- Altered or Falsified
- Forged or Counterfeited
- Duplicated or Reproduced
Individuals should only face PC 470b charges if they intend to use a fake driver’s license in the commission of a fraudulent act. Fraudulent acts involve deceiving another person to take something of value from them.
Charges Like Possession of a Fake Driver’s License
The court system in California does not just prosecute individuals for possession of a fake driver’s license. Residents can also be charged under Penal Code Section 470a: Forgery of a Driver’s License. There are also other charges used to prosecute acts of forgery and fraud, including:
- California Penal Code Section 132 and 134: Offering or Preparing False Evidence
- California Penal Code Section 472: Forging or Possessing a Fraudulent Public Seal
- California Penal Code Section 476: Check Fraud
A white-color crimes lawyer in Los Angeles can provide you with information about fraud and forgery charges. Any of these accusations can lead to harsh penalties, so it is important to take them seriously.
Results of a Conviction for Possession of a Fake Driver’s License
In some cases, possession of a fake driver’s license is prosecuted as a misdemeanor. However, depending upon the accused’s prior criminal history and the facts surrounding the case, PC 470b can be charged as a felony. The penalties for this charge will vary based on the severity of the charges. They can include:
Penalties for a Misdemeanor Conviction:
- Fines: Up to $1,000
- Jail Time: Up to One Year
Penalties for a Felony Conviction
- Fines: Up to $10,000
- Jail Time: Up to Three Years
Note that individuals under the age of 18 may be charged with possession of a fake driver’s license in juvenile court. This situation can be very common, as many minors use fake I.D. cards when attempting to purchase alcohol.
Focus on Legal Defenses for PC 470b Charges in California
Take charge of your future after a PC 470b accusation by reaching out to a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles. You have multiple options for your defense. Your legal team can go over the details of your case to determine if any of the following defenses apply to your situation:
You Thought the I.D. Was Legitimate
Sometimes, individuals in California receive I.D. cards that they have every reason to believe are legitimate. If you are in possession of a card that you thought was legitimate, you should not be prosecuted under PC 470b.
You Weren’t Intending to Commit Fraud with the I.D. Card
As we mentioned earlier, you should only be charged under PC 470b if you intended to use a fake driver’s license or I.D. card to commit fraud. Sometimes, these faked cards are made as part of a joke. In these cases, you shouldn’t be convicted for possession of a fake driver’s license.
You Weren’t in Possession of a Fake Driver’s License
You should only be charged with possession of a fake driver’s license if you knew about the card and were in control of it. The police may have found a fake driver’s license belonging to someone else in your property or your vehicle. A criminal defense lawyer could work to show that the card was not yours and was not in your possession.
Get Help Fighting Possession of a Fake Driver’s License Charges
California Penal Code Section 470b: Possession of a Fake Driver’s License charges can be hard to handle on your own. Make sure you’re ready to fight for your future by contacting the Simmrin Law Group’s criminal defense lawyers in Los Angeles now for a FREE case evaluation.
Start building your defense today by calling (310) 997-4688 or filling out our online contact form.