Providing False Information to a Peace or Police Officer

You commit a crime under vehicle code 31 when you provide false information to a police officer in the following manner.

  • Orally, or
  • In writing

Additionally, the officer must be in the performance of his/her duties when such person knows that the information is false1.

Examples include giving a police/peace officer any of the following information:

  • The wrong answer to a question that is not true
  • Wrong/fake name
  • Fake/borrowed license/ID

If a defendant prepares and/or offers a forged document, such as a driver’s license, and presents it as genuine, he/she may also face charges under Vehicle Code 20 – false statements to the DMV.

How Does the Prosecutor Prove Providing False Information to a Peace Officer?

To prove that you are guilty of this offense, the prosecutor has to prove the following facts or elements2:

  • The defendant gave information either orally or in writing3 to a peace officer4.
  • While in the performance of his/her duties5 when the person knows that the information is false6.

Legal Defenses

You Did Not Intend To Provide False Information

To convict you of the offense, the prosecutor will have to show that you had the intent to defraud.

In other words, if you did not know that a document you were presenting was forged, or that the information you were offering was false, you have a defense to this charge.

Penalties & Punishment

Penaltes for vehicle code 31 vc include the following:

Jail: Punishable by up to 6 months in jail

Fine: Up to $1,000

Related Offenses and Additional Penalties

Resisting Arrest:

Pursuant to the Penal Code section 148(a)(1), a defendant who resists, obstructs, or delays a law enforcement officer in the performance of his/her duty, may be charged under Penal Code 148(a)(1) – California’s resisting arrest law.

False Representation of Identity to a Police Officer

Penal Code 148.9 California’s presenting a false identity to a police officer law – 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 person.

Forgery or Falsification of Car Registration Stickers:

Under the Vehicle Code 4463 VC – It is unlawful to forge, alter, or falsify vehicle registration stickers, license, or license plate.

How We Can Help

If you would like to speak to an attorney about a pending case contact the Aizman law firm at 818-351-9555 for a free consultation.

Request A Free Consultation 818-351-9555 


  1. Vehicle Code 31 VC. []
  2. Vehicle Code 31 VC. []
  3. The information can be spoken or presented in written form, such as a fake driver’s license ((Vehicle Code 31 VC. []
  4. A “peace officer” is anyone who is engaged in the duty of law enforcement, including but not limited to the following persons: CHP officer (California Highway Patrol), police officer, sheriff, marshal or deputy marshal of a superior court or county, port warden or port police officer, any inspector or investigator employed in such capacity in the office of a district attorney.  Pen. Code, § 830 et seq. []
  5. “Performance of duties” in this context means engaging in the duty of law enforcement.  Pen. Code, § 830 et seq. []
  6. The word “knows” or “knowingly” imports only a knowledge that the facts exist which bring the act or omission within the provisions of this code.  It does not require any knowledge of the unlawfulness of such act or omission.  In this case, knowingly means that you knew that the statement or fact is false and offered it anyway.  It does not mean that you knew that the act of offering the false statement or fact is unlawful. []

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