Fraud Part 3: Identity Theft

It's important to know who you are, to know who you aren't, and to know the difference, especially when it comes to using I.D.

According to California Penal Code Section 529, you may be guilty of false Impersonation when:

1. You falsely impersonate someone by pretending to be them in a public or private capacity; AND

2. Perform an act that might cause that person to become liable to a lawsuit, prosecution, become obligated to pay money or gain some personal benefit for yourself by impersonating someone else.

A violation of CPC 529 is a “wobbler” in California. This means that it can be charged as a Misdemeanor or a Felony depending on factors such as how much was allegedly stolen. A misdemeanor offense for false impersonation carries a maximum punishment of up to 1 year in jail and/or a $10,000 fine. A felony offense carries a maximum exposure of up to 3 years in jail in addition to a possible $10,000 fine. This is also considered a "crime of moral turpitude" and will likely have an impact on future job prospects, as well as State and Federal licenses.

In short, carrying an I.D. of a person that looks like you and then telling others that you are the person in the I.D. can get you into trouble. That trouble gets worse if you use the I.D. to obtain something that does not belong to you.

If you or a loved one are Arrested or Charged with Identity Theft, reach out to The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian at www.Kazarianatlaw.com for a free consultation.