Possession or Displaying a Fake Identification Card or Driver's License
Possession or displaying a fake, altered, or counterfeit government-issued identification card (ID) or driver's license (DL) is prohibited under California Penal Code §470b, and may be punished as either a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances of your case and/or criminal record.
Unlike CA PC §470a, which prohibits falsifying, altering, or counterfeiting a DL or ID, the crime of possessing or displaying does not require the Prosecutor to prove that the defendant actually altered or faked an ID or DL. Conviction under CA PC §470b Possessing or Displaying a Fake ID Or DL may have some serious consequences - Speaking with a San Diego criminal lawyer experienced in Fake ID or Driver's License matters is critical to securing the best possible outcome in your case.
Common Examples of Possessing or Displaying a Fake ID or DL:
• Being younger than 18 years old and using a "fake" ID or DL to purchase cigarettes or porno;
• Being younger than 21 years old and using a "fake" ID or DL to purchase alcohol, or to enter clubs or bars where alcohol is served;
• Possessing a fake ID or DL to hide the fact that you have a warrant out for your arrest, or to hide your status as an undocumented or illegal alien in the US.
Elements of Possessing or Displaying a Fake ID or DL:
To be convicted of this crime under CA PC §470b, the prosecutor must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt (CALCRIM No. 1921):
1. You possessed or displayed (or caused it to happen) a Driver's License or Government issued ID;
i. You may hold or possess something without actually physically touching it - controlling or having the right to control the thing is considered possession, even if not in your actual possession.
2. The DL or ID was altered, faked, copied, counterfeited, or forged;
i. A person alters a document if they add to, delete, or change a part of the document that affects another's legal, financial, or property rights.
ii. A person counterfeits a document if they change, manipulate, or imitate an item intending to pass it off as a genuine document.
iii. A person forges a document if they intentionally alter, manipulate, or create a document to derive an unlawful personal benefit (see CA PC §470).
3. You knew that the DL or ID was modified, faked, copied, or forged; AND
4. When you possessed or displayed such DL or ID, you intended to commit forgery by doing so.
i. A person intends to commit a forgery where they use a forged, modified, faked, or copied document (including an ID or DL) to cause another to suffer loss of or damage to a financial, property, or legal right.
ii. There is no requirement that another be actually defrauded or actually suffer damage to their financial, property, or legal rights as a result of your actions.