Providing or Possessing False Identification is a relatively common charge in Fairfax County. While it seems like a minor charge because it may not be hurting anyone directly it is a crime in Virginia and is a jailable offense. Many people have a Fake ID to buy alcohol or drugs or to get into clubs. In other instances they provide False Identification to the police in an effort to avoid being arrested. In any case, it is strongly recommended to speak to an Attorney so you give yourself the best chance to avoid a conviction and/or jail time. We are in the Fairfax County Courthouse daily and can help. Give us a call or use the contact form below.
False ID to Law Enforcement
Virginia Code §19.2-82.1 criminalizes falsely identifying oneself to a police officer with the intent to deceive their real identity after being arrested and upon being requested to reveal their name. Essentially, this statute makes it a crime to provide a fake or wrong name or otherwise lying to a police officer after you've been arrested. The statute serves two purposes: To ensure the police have the correct information for the arrested and to avoid somebody else (i.e. the fake name given) ending up with a criminal record when they had nothing to do with the incident.
A violation of this offense is a Class 1 Misdemeanor and has a penalty of up to 12 months in jail with a fine of up to $2500. While a lengthy jail sentence is unlikely some jail time is possible. An important element of this type of charge is that the prosecutor must prove the person was lawfully arrested. If the arrest was invalid then so is this charge. In addition, there must be evidence of an intent to deceive the police. For example, the police noting your name incorrectly because of a language accent would not suffice in this case.
Possession or Manufacturing of False Identification
Under Virginia Code §18.2-204.2, it is illegal to manufacture or possess a fictitious (fake) driver's license, U.S. Armed Forces Identification Card, U.S. Passport or Foreign Government Visa, Virginia DMV ID card, official identification issued by any federal, state, or foreign agency, or school ID. Most of the cases we see in this type of case are Fake IDs by younger individuals looking to be able to purchase alcohol or get into clubs. Many are in high school or college and have great futures in front of them so an attorney is important in these cases.
Manufacturing and/or selling Fake IDs is a Class 1 Misdemeanor (up to 12 months in jail and $2500 fine). The more common charge is Possession of a Fake ID which is a Class 2 Misdemeanor (up to 6 months in jail and $1000 fine).
Identity Theft to Avoid Arrest
Identity Theft under Virginia Code §18.2-186.3 is similar to Virginia Code §19.2-82.1 in that police officers use them somewhat interchangeably to issue charges for False Identification in Fairfax County. The reason is that §18.2-186.3 is designed to criminalize using another's name for their own use. Having a Fake ID with another person's name on it, or simply providing another person's name, falls under the provisions of this statute.
The statute is long and covers multiple different scenarios. However, most of the cases we see fall under the auspices of §18.2-186.3(B1). Under this provision, it is unlawful to use identification documents or identifying information of another person, whether that person is dead or alive, or of a false or fictitious person, to avoid summons, arrest, prosecution, or to impede a criminal investigation. In a narrow sense, Virginia Code §18.2-186.3 criminalizes providing false information to avoid arrest while Virginia Code §19.2-82.1 criminalizes providing false information after an arrest.
While there are certain violations of this particular statute that could result in a felony charge, most of the cases we see are a routine Fake ID that does not result in any financial loss to the person whose name is on the ID and is a Class 1 Misdemeanor (up to 12 months in jail and $2500 fine).
We handle cases in the Fairfax County Courthouse daily and can help. There may be an affirmative defense to your case or enough mitigating factors that we can negotiate a successful outcome with the prosecutor assigned to the case. We offer a free consultation to discuss your case and would be happy to talk to you about it.