False Identification to Law Enforcement Authorities charges are known commonly as “False ID.” It is one of the most incorrectly charged offenses in PA. If you are convicted, it is a misdemeanor of the third degree offense. It is very difficult for the government to win this type of charge… if you pick the right attorney. We know the law, the judge and the DAs. We fight these charges so the consequences of a conviction don’t follow you forever.
When people ask: “Who is the best False ID attorney near me?” The answer always comes up the same: The McShane Firm. We are simply the best criminal defense lawyers around.
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You can read the exact statute here: 18 PS § 4914. False identification to law enforcement authorities.
If you plead guilty to this or are found guilty, it is a misdemeanor of the third degree (M3). All M3s have a maximum penalty of jail not more than one year and a maximum fine of $2500.00.
But with a misdemeanor conviction there is just so much more to worry about. In truth, jail is temporary. The conviction and its consequences are permanent. You must consider Misdemeanor Conviction Consequences in Pennsylvania.
Again, this is if the worst thing happens. We make sure the worst doesn’t happen. Let’s see how we can fight and beat the government, ok?
What the government must prove:
Beyond a reasonable doubt
First it’s about a mindset. Even experienced criminal defense attorneys adopt the wrong mindset. When you are charged with any crime, it is just a naked allegation. While it is true that the government does not have to prove the complete and total impossibility of guilt, a reasonable doubt is a doubt based upon reason and common sense—the kind of doubt that would make a reasonable person hesitate to act.
It isn’t a measure of what is likely, most likely or even really really likely. It is more. Much more.
We make this burden on the government because it is so incredibly easy to accuse someone. Without using a jury system and being very objective and detached, we have mob rule. Mobs are subject to passion and being rash. Mobs lead to the break down of law and order. We would rather get it very right than risk getting in very wrong.
We cannot place an exact number or percentage on how firm or certain we must be. But to put it in perspective, it takes more evidence and proof to convict someone than the amount of proof it takes to remove a child from a home and terminate all parental rights. That’s a lot.
The elements (requirements) for False ID to Law Enforcement:
The government must prove each of these numbered events beyond a reasonable doubt. If not, then you remain as you started before this whole thing started: innocent. The government must prove:
- the accused
- law enforcement authorities
- with false information
- about his identity
- after being informed by a law enforcement officer who is in uniform or who has identified himself as a law enforcement officer that
- the person is the subject of an official investigation of a violation of law.
The details matter
Lots of police and prosecutors assume that any misinformation about who you who at any time satisfies this crime. This is not so. You can use a false name all day long with the police provided that you are not THE SUBJECT of an official investigation of a violation of law. Three cases prove this point.
- There is no proper conviction for false identification because the person providing the requests or demanded information must have been told by police that he or she was under investigation prior to presentment of false identity information. The police mustt make an express statement to defendant that he or she was under investigation prior to his/her presentment of false credentials.
Social Security number is enough
- The accused must be found not guilty or have the charges dismissed pre-trial when the accused gave a false name to a police officer and also misstated the year of his birth. However, the accused gave the correct Social Security number to the officer. It was sufficient to identify the accused, and thus, there was no violation of this statute.
Passenger in the car ID’d
- In another case, a passenger in a speeding car gave a false name when ID’d by the police during thew speeding stop. The courts have found that not to be a crime when the police were not directly investigating that passenger for a violation of a crime and could not specifically say what the passenger was thought to be suspected in violation of and was being investigated when the false name was provided. Further, if the accused was not under official investigation for a specific violation when asked for his name and date of birth, there is no violation.
If your attorney doesn’t know of these defenses and exceptions and all of the others… you lose. Don’t become a victim of government over-reach. Fight your charges of False identification to law enforcement authorities.