Identification cards in the state of California are only considered legal if they are officially issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Creating or selling fraudulent versions of these ID cards is considered a criminal act in California.
Individuals who try to create or sell fraudulent ID cards can be prosecuted under California Vehicle Code Section 13004.1: Manufacturing or Selling Counterfeit Identification Cards. You can find out more about this charge and the outcomes for a conviction with the Simmrin Law Group right here.
Legally Defining VC 13004.1 Charges in California
According to VC 13004.1, it is illegal for individuals in California to sell or manufacture a counterfeited – or fake – identification card. The counterfeited ID card must be similar to the ID cards used by the California DMV for this charge to apply. Individuals must be acting intentionally to trick someone else for VC 13004.1 charges to be made.
It may be useful to go over the legal definition of an identification card in California. ID cards are used purely to identify individuals. They may be issued to people regardless of their age and they do not relate to driving privileges in the state.
They could be used, instead, as proof that an individual is over 21 if they wanted to purchase alcohol.
Charges Similar to Manufacturing or Selling Counterfeit ID Cards
All forms of counterfeiting are handled very seriously by the court system in California. Some counterfeiting charges are even prosecuted in federal court, generally leading to harsher penalties for a conviction.
Depending upon the specifics surrounding a criminal action, individuals in California could also face charges for the following specific illegal acts:
- California Vehicle Code Section 13004: Unlawful Use Of Identification Cards
- California Penal Code Section 470(a): Forging or Counterfeiting a Driver’s License or ID Card
- California Penal Code Section 470(b): Having a Fake Driver’s License or ID Card
Review Examples of VC 13004.1 Violations
Man A realizes he can make a lot of money by creating counterfeited ID cards to sell to college students in his town. He dives into the business and sells a lot of cards before the police catch him. He could be prosecuted under VC 13004.1.
Man B makes a fake California ID card for his boss’s birthday. It identifies his boss as the “World’s Best Boss.” Man B should not face VC 13004.1 charges because he did not try to defraud anyone with the faked ID card.
Focus on the Repercussions for a VC 13004.1 Conviction
The court system within California treats manufacturing or selling counterfeit identification cards as a misdemeanor-level offense. A conviction can lead to a number of serious legal penalties, including:
- Fines of Up to $1,000
- Jail Time of Up to One Year
- Community Service of Up to 24 Hours
Some individuals are sentenced to probation rather than jail time after a VC 13004.1 conviction.
Review Legal Defenses for VC 13004.1 Charges
Not all VC 13004.1 charges in California end with a conviction. You can increase the odds that you will successfully resolve any VC 13004.1 charges you are facing by contacting a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles right away.
Your lawyer can go over all facets of your case. Depending upon your situation, a legal professional may be able to build your defense by showing that:
You Weren’t Trying to Defraud Anyone
Individuals should only be charged with manufacturing or selling counterfeit identification cards if they intended to commit an act of fraud. If, for example, you only created a fake ID card as part of a joke, you could avoid a VC 13004.1 conviction.
You Didn’t Create a Realistic ID Card
Sometimes, individuals create fake ID cards that do not resemble the cards provided by the DMV. If you created a gag ID card, such as one for the “World’s Best Dad,” you should not face charges under VC 13004.1.
You Duplicated the ID Card of Another State
VC 13004.1 only applies to ID cards that mimic the cards used by the California DMV. You should not be charged under VC 13004.1 for counterfeiting the ID cards of another state. However, you could still face fraud charges for this action.
Contact a Lawyer for Help Handing VC 13004.1 Charges
You can strengthen your case by contacting a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles after you are charged under California Vehicle Code Section 13004.1: Manufacturing or Selling Counterfeit Identification Cards. Find out more about how legal professionals can help you by contacting the Simmrin Law Group. You can fill out our online contact form or call (310) 896-2723 to get started.
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