Criminal Defense Lawyers
Use of False Documents for Citizenship
PC 114 Law & Defense
Information on the crime of using false documents to gain citizenship is found at California penal code section.
PC 114: It is illegal to use false documents to conceal true citizenship or resident alien status (PC 114 Abbrev.).
Note: It is also illegal to make, manufacture, sell, or distribute false documents that are used to conceal the true citizenship of another person. Manufacturing false citizens documents can be charged as a misdemeanor (PC 112) or as a felony (PC 113).
Documents can include, but are limited to, fake identification cards, fake driver's licenses, fake birth certificates, fake social security numbers, and more.
Jail: PC 114 is charged as a felony. If found guilty of PC 114 the defendant may face up to five (5) years in jail.
Note: PC 114 provides for alternate to a jail sentence: Pay a $25,000 fine. Even if the defendant pays the fine, he or she would still have the conviction of PC 114 of course. The decision of whether to pay a fine or go to jail is up to the court unless the defendant and the district attorney can reach that deal in a plea agreement.
Note: There is no triad sentencing with PC 114 crimes. In other words, if the defendant is found guilty of PC 114 and he or she does not receives a probation sentence , hen he or she will serve five years of jail, regardless of any mitigating or aggravating factors present in the case; however, any mitigating or aggravating factors present in the case may play a roll in whether or not the defendant receive a probation sentence instead of a jail sentence.
PC 1170(h) Sentencing: If the defendant is not granted a probation sentence then he or she will be ordered to jail (or pay the $25,000 fine). However, if the defendant is ordered to jail in a PC 114 case then he or she may have that jail sentence split (served partially out of custody on work release or house arrest), or suspended (not served unless the defendant violates a term off his or her out of custody sentence. In addition, any jail sentence related to the crime of unlawfully using false citizenship documents is served in a local county jail, as opposed to a state prison.
Probation Sentence: A probation sentence is period of supervision instead of jail. Probation sentences are allowed in some PC 114 cases. Whether the defendant is granted a probation sentence depends largely on the facts of the case and the defendant's criminal history, along with the sophistication of the crime.
Work Release: Work release is a form of manual labor such as picking up trash around jail or highways. Work release sentences are intended to serve as an alternative to jail and as a condition of probation. Not every probation sentence will require a work release sentence, but such a requirement is fairly common if the defendant receives a probation sentence. House arrest, also called electronic monitoring, is another alternative to jail that is commonly ordered as part of a probation sentence.
Jail Credits: Per PC 4019 if the defendant is ordered to jail or work release (as part of a probation sentence), then he or she may have that sentenced reduced by up to fifty percent (50%) for conducting himself or herself with good behavior while serving that sentence.
Three Strikes Law: Unlawfully using false citizenship documents is not a strike offense in California.
CIMT: Unlawful use of citizenship documents is likely a crime involving moral turpitude. (CIMT). Crimes that involve moral turpitude are crimes that invlive deceit nvlve or are otherwise considered to be inherently and morally wrong. CIMT carry collateral punishments related to professional licensing and immigration status.
Bail: $50,000 (Felony PC 114 San Bernardino County 2020).
In Addition to the penalties listed above, if the defendant is found guilty of using false citizenship documents, he or she could suffer any of the following additional punishments: fines and court fees, denial of reentry into the United States, restitution, and more.
Common defense to a charge of using false documents related to citizenship include: insufficient evidence to prove the defendant knew the documents were false, illegal search and seizure, mistake of fact , and more.
Note: duress or necessity is not a defense in PC 114 cases, even if the defendant claims that he or she would be in danger if deported had he or she not used false documents related to citizenship.
If you have been arrested or charged with unlawful use of false citizenship documents, or PC 114 (or PC 112 & 113), contact out criminal defense lawyers today for a free consultation. Our criminal defense lawyers work closely with immigration lawyers to provide a full defense in both criminal court and immigration court. We have successfully defended many felony and misdemeanor crimes as well as protecting a person's immigration status. Call today!
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