Penal Code 148.9 PC prohibits one to falsely represent a fake or fictitious identity to a police officer either to evade the process of the court, or to evade the proper identification of the person1.
Watch this video for the following information:
- A legal explanation of this crime
- Potential jail time
- Defenses in this type of case
To prove that the defendant is guilty of this offense, the prosecutor has to prove the following facts or elements2:
- Providing a fake or fictitious name or the name of another person3
- To avoid the court process or to avoid presenting proper identification to that officer
- To someone the defendant knows or should have known is a police/peace officer
- While the police/peace officer was engaged in the performance of lawful duties4.
James is pulled over because the police officer suspected that he was driving under influence.
When the officer asked James for his name, James gave him a name that he made up on the spot.
James can be charged with the offense because he made up a fake name to avoid presenting accurate identification to the police officer.
Police Officers Not Engaged In Performance Of Lawful Duties
If the defendant can show that the police officer was not lawfully performing his/her duties at the time of the false representation of identity.
As discussed above, a police officer is not lawfully performing his/her duty if he/she is unlawfully arresting or detaining someone or using unreasonable or excessive force in his/her duties.
You Lacked Knowledge
Because one of the elements is that the defendant has to know or should have known that he/she is making a false representation of identity to a police/peace officer, if the defendant can show that he did not know and should not have known that he/she was dealing with a police officer then they have a defense to this code section.
The following links have information on the criminal court process in a misdemeanor:
If you have been arrested for a misdemeanor and would like to learn more about what attorneys charge.
If you want to understand why it’s important to have an attorney represent you.
If you are ready to discuss a pending case with a criminal defense attorney5 please contact the Aizman Law Firm at 818-351-9555 for a free confidential consultation.
- Penal Code 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 listed in Section 830.1 or 830.2, or subdivision (a) of
Section 830.33, 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 a misdemeanor. (b) Any person who falsely represents or identifies himself or herself as another person or as a fictitious person to any other peace officer defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section
830) of Title 3 of Part 2, 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 (1) the false information is given while the peace officer is engaged in the performance of his or her duties as a peace officer and (2) the person providing the false information knows or should have known that the person receiving the information is a peace officer. [↩]
- Elements. Pen. Code, § 148.9. [↩]
- Providing a fake or fictitious identity includes not just providing a fake or fictitious name, but also providing a fake date of birth or any other information that can be used to identify a person’s identity. Penal Code 148.9. [↩]
- A police/peace officer is not lawfully performing his/her duties if he/she is unlawfully arresting or detaining someone or using unreasonable or excessive force in his/her duties. For example, a peace officer is not lawfully performing his/her duties when an arrest or detention is unlawful and/or when force is unreasonable or excessive. If a defendant is charged with violating section 148 and the arrest is found to be unlawful, a defendant cannot be convicted of that section.” People v. White (1980) 101 Cal.App.3d 161, 166 [161 Cal.Rptr. 541]. An unlawful arrest includes both an arrest made without legal grounds and an arrest made with excessive force. Id. at p. 167. “[D]isputed facts bearing on the issue of legal cause must be submitted to the jury considering an engaged-in-duty element.” People v. Gonzalez (1990) 51 Cal.3d 1179, 1217 [275 Cal.Rptr. 729, 800 P.2d 1159]. The court has a sua sponte duty to instruct that the defendant is not guilty of the offense charged if the arrest was unlawful. People v. Olguin (1981) 119 Cal.App.3d 39, 46–47 [173 Cal.Rptr. 663]. On request, the court must instruct that the prosecution has the burden of proving the lawfulness of an arrest beyond a reasonable doubt. People v. Castain (1981) 122 Cal.App.3d 138, 145 [175 Cal.Rptr. 651]. [↩]
- Our attorney’s practice law in the following jurisdictions in California. Santa Clarita Valley, Antelope Valley, San Fernando Valley, San Gabriel Valley, Southern California, Los Angeles County, Santa Monica, Hollywood, Glendale, Sherman Oaks, Encino, Studio City, Burbank, Van Nuys, Oxnard, Chatsworth, San Fernando, Santa Clarita, Valencia, Palmdale, Lancaster, Pasadena, Alhambra, Malibu, Ventura County, Santa Barbara County, Orange County, San Bernadino County [↩]