Some residents of California use an official identification card. These cards can help establish an individual’s identity and they may play an important role in some legal situations. For these reasons, the court system harshly punishes individuals who misuse identification cards.
California Vehicle Code Section 13004: Unlawful Use of Identification Cards is the legal code used to prosecute individuals who improperly utilize identification cards.
The Simmrin Law Group can help you review aspects of this criminal charge, including its specific legal definition. You can also dig into the penalties for a VC 13004 conviction and focus on some common defenses used by individuals facing this charge.
Defining the Unlawful Use of Identification Cards
The court system in California can punish individuals who misuse identification cards very harshly. There are many specific unauthorized uses of identification cards. Individuals may face VC 13004 charges if they:
- Possess a Fake, Altered, Fraudulently Obtained, or Fake ID Card
- Try to Use Another Person’s ID Card
- Let Someone Else Use Their ID Card
- Create or Duplicate an ID Card
- Unlawfully Alter an ID Card
Reviewing Examples of the Unlawful Use of Identification Cards
Refine your understanding of VC 13004 charges by going over these examples:
Man A knows that he needs an identification card or driver’s license to get into a local bar. He never went to the Department of Motor Vehicles to get an ID card, and decides to buy one from a friend that counterfeits the cards. He is stopped at the entrance of the bar and tries to use the fraudulent card to get in. He could be prosecuted for the unlawful use of identification cards.
Man B wants to go out to a club with some of his friends. The club has a 21-and-over only policy and he is only 19. He takes his older brother’s ID card, since they resemble one another, and tries to use it to get into the club. He could be charged under VC 13004, but his brother should avoid prosecution, since he did not know about the theft of his ID card.
Man C works at a business that requires him to copy ID cards or driver’s licenses for all customers. He dutifully makes copies of all of these documents. He should not be convicted under VC 13004 since he is not making a copy of an ID card for fraudulent purposes.
Focusing on Penalties for the Unlawful Use of Identification Cards
Individuals who unlawfully use an identification card in California can be charged with a misdemeanor in the court system. A VC 13004 conviction can lead to the following penalties:
- Fines: Up to $1,000
- Jail Time: Up to Six Months
Note that individuals can face a lengthier jail term for actually selling or creating a fake identification card. This action is prosecuted under California Vehicle Code Section 13004.1: Manufacturing or Selling Counterfeit Identification Cards.
Going Over Legal Defenses for VC 13004 Charges in California
You can get legal advice about VC 13004 today by contacting a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles. A legal professional can go over all of your legal options if you are charged with the unlawful use of identification cards. Based on the facts surrounding your case, a lawyer could argue:
Your ID Card Was Stolen
You should not face criminal charges if someone took your ID card without your knowledge or permission and used it unlawfully. VC 13004 charges apply if you willingly give someone else your ID card to use for improper purposes.
You Grabbed the Wrong ID Card by Accident
It can be difficult to distinguish between ID cards, especially if you are in a hurry and not paying a great deal of attention. If you accidentally grabbed someone’s ID card and presented it accidentally, you could be able to avoid a VC 13004 conviction.
You Had a Legal Reason to Duplicate an ID Card
Some individuals have jobs that require them to copy information found on ID cards. For example, you may need to scan and copy and individual’s ID if you are working in a doctor’s office and it is your job to check patients in. This is not a violation of VC 13004.
Getting Help with a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Los Angeles
A California Vehicle Code Section 13004: Unlawful Use of Identification Cards accusation can be difficult to handle on your own. Fortunately, you can get professional help by contacting the Simmrin Law Group. You can speak with our criminal defense lawyers in Los Angeles now with a FREE consultation.
Get assistance with a VC 13004 accusation by filling out our online contact form or calling (310) 896-2723.