Give false identification to police
Information on the crime of giving false identification to a peace officer is found at California penal code section 148.9(a).
Note: It is a crime to falsely represent oneself as another person to a police officer if the defendant is being lawfully detained or arrested. It does not matter if the defendant presents to an officer genuine identification of a different person or the identification of a fictitious person. It also does not matter if the defendant has an actual piece of governmental identification or not. so long as the defendant presents himself or herself as another person upon a lawful detention or arrest, the crime is charged (subject to defenses and limitations).
PC 148.9(a) Any person who falsely represents or identifies himself or herself as another person, or as a fictitious person, to any peace officer, upon a lawful detention or arrest of the person, either to evade the process of the court, or to evade the proper identification of the person by the investigating officer is guilty of giving false identification to a police (Abbrev.).
PC 148.9(b) Any person who falsely represents or identifies himself or herself as another person or as a fictitious person to any other peace officer, upon lawful detention or arrest of the person, either to evade the process of the court, or to evade the proper identification of the person by the arresting officer is guilty of a misdemeanor if the false information is given while the peace officer is engaged in the performance of his or her duties as a peace officer and the person providing the false information knows or should have known that the person receiving the information is a peace officer (Abbrev.).
Peace Officer Defined: Per 148.9, A peace officer is a deputy, sheriff (employed in that capacity, police officer in uniform, chief of police, marshal of a superior court, warden or port police, investigator with the district attorney's office, and public safety officer that performs police functions (PC 830.1 (Abbrev.).
In order for the defendant to be convicted of a PC 148.9 offense, the district attorney will need to prove that the defendant was lawfully arrest. This means that the defendant has the right to misrepresent himself or herself if the detention of arrest is not lawful. An unlawful detention is usually difficult to prove but includes: detentions and arrests based solely on race, gender, national origin, ethnicity, and sexual orientation (difficult to prove in most situations). Also, in order for the crime of giving false identification to police to be committed the officer must be in uniform or have clearly identified himself or herself as a peace officer.
Sentence: Giving false identification to law enforcement is classified as a misdemeanor. If found guilty of PC 148.9(a), the defendant may face up to 180 days in jail.
Probation Sentence: A probation sentence might be available in some PC 148.9 cases. A probation sentence is a period of monitoring by the court instead of jail (no probation officer in misdemeanor cases). Probation sentences may include some form of manual labor or community service as a condition of probation. If the defendant does not fulfill the conditions of his or her probation then he or she may be sentenced up to the maximum (180 days in PC 148.9 cases).
Note: PC 148.9 crimes are not crimes involving moral turpitude. Crimes involving moral turpitude are crimes that involve deceit (such as lying to an officer), but the offense is nevertheless classified as a non-moral turpitude crime, which is good for defendant seeking professional employment (any employment that requires a license to work. i.e. doctor, dentist, lawyer, etc.).
Bail: Bail is a surety bond that is intended to secure the defendant's presence in court as ordered. The bail amount in charges of giving false identification to police is $5,000 in San Bernardino County (2020); however, that amount be lowered (or raised) based on several factors, including the defendant's criminal history and his or her danger to the community. In some cases of PC 148.9(a), the defendant may be release without the need for bail (Own Recognizance Release [OR]).
In addition to the penalties described above, if found guilty of of PC 148.9, the defendant could be denied entry into the military , be ordered to pay fines and fees, be denied US citizenship, and more.
Defenses to PC 148.9(a)
Common defenses to a charge of giving false identification to police include insanity, lack of legal detention or arrest, statute of limitations, and more.
If you have been arrested or charged with giving false identification to a peace officer, or PC 148.9, contact out criminal defense lawyers today for a free consultation. Call today!
Quick Legal Reference
Crime: Give False Identification to Police
Code: PC 148.9(a)
Wobbler: No. PC 148.9(a) is not a wobbler. This means that PC 148.9(a) is only charged as a misdemeanor.
Incarceration: PC 148.9(a) jail sentence up to 180 days.
Probation: Probation may be available in PC 148.9(a) cases (assuming that other crimes or enhancements that might bar a probation sentence are not present). Whether or not a probation sentence is offered by the District Attorney, or granted by the court, depends on several factors, including the defendant's criminal history and the facts of the case.
Work Release or House Arrest: In some cases, a probation sentence can include actual in-custody county jail, house arrest (electronic monitoring), or work release (or some combination of these penalties); however, most in-custody jail sentence orders that are required as a terms of probation are much shorter than the maximum jail sentence.
Strike: PC 148.9(a) is not a strike offense listed in California's Three Strikes law.
Credits: 50% good conduct credits available.
CIMT: PC 148.9(a) is not a crime involving moral turpitude.
Bail: $5,000 (San Bernardino County)
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