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What if I Gave the Police False Identifying Information?

 Posted on May 23, 2024 in Criminal Defense

CA defense lawyerWhen the police stop you while you are carrying an illegal item, like illicit drugs or an unregistered handgun, it is easy to panic and misidentify yourself. If the police show up at your home to carry out a search warrant, your instinct might be to claim that you are someone else or to give a fake name. A lot of people act out of sheer panic and give the police false identifying information when they are caught committing a crime, hoping that the police will fall for the fake identity and have charges filed against a person who is not them or a person who does not exist. In nearly all cases, police can readily see through false identities and will find out who you really are. If you are charged with providing false identification to a police officer, you need an experienced San Jose, CA criminal defense lawyer.

Understanding Providing False Identification to a Police Officer Charges 

You do not need to have handed a police officer a fake ID to be charged with this offense, although doing so would certainly fall under this statute. (If you did use a fake ID, you will likely face additional charges, as possessing a fake ID is illegal.) Verbally giving a police officer a name other than your own legal name can be considered providing false identification.

If the name you represented as being your name is the name of an actual person, you might even face identity theft charges. Some people will give the name of a close relative, like a sibling, while they are being detained, hoping the other person will be charged instead. In some cases, this can result in federal charges.

If you gave the name of a person who does not exist - you simply made up a random name - you will likely be charged with a misdemeanor offense for providing false identification to an officer.

Why Giving False Identification Almost Never Works 

It is incredibly rare for a person to get away with a crime because a police officer believed their false identifying information. Police do more to verify the identity of a person they have arrested than asking the person his or her name. Often, this illusion falls apart as soon as the police search an arrestee’s person and find his or her driver’s license in a pocket or purse. Police may also ask to confirm your social security number, check your fingerprints against a database, or find an official photograph of the person whose name you gave.

Contact a San Jose, CA Criminal Defense Attorney

Fuller Law Firm is experienced in helping people who provided the police with false identifying information. Experienced Santa Clara County, CA criminal defense lawyer Cory Fuller is a born-and-raised local and understands the California justice system. Contact us at 408-234-7563 for a complimentary consultation.

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