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Giving False ID to a Police Officer, PC 148.9(a), is a misdemeanor in California criminal court. This type of case is charged when a person tries to avoid the court process and shows the ID of another person or an ID depicting a person who doesn’t exist, or just by giving the wrong name.

Examples of Giving False ID to a Police Officer, PC 148.9(a)

  1. Jim gets pulled over for DUI. He performs the field sobriety test and fails. He takes a preliminary alcohol screening and blows well over the legal limit. Jim is then arrested and shows his brother’s ID to the officer so that he would not get a DUI.
  2. Lucy is walking through a residential neighborhood and police notice her fidgeting with a small bag that looks like a controlled substance. They tell her that they are detaining her for questioning because they had heard reports 5 minutes prior of a person selling drugs in the neighborhood that fit her description. She gives them a made-up name.


In order to be guilty of Giving False ID to a Police Officer, PC 148.9(a), the prosecutor must prove that:

  1. the defendant falsely represented or identified as another person or as a fictitious person
  2. the defendant was evading the court process or evading identification by the arresting officer
  3. the defendant knew or should have known that the person receiving the information was an officer

Jail Time

A conviction of Giving False ID to a Police Officer, PC 148.9(a), carries a maximum jail sentence of 6 months in county jail.

Defenses Against Giving False ID to a Police Officer, PC 148.9(a):

  1. You were not detained or arrested.

This charge only applies to those who were detained or arrested, so if you were just having a casual conversation with a police officer and you gave a different name, you are not guilty of PC 148.9(a).

2. You were falsely accused.

If you gave proper identification but the police officer had the false belief that you gave someone else’s ID, then you are wrongly accused and therefore not guilty of this crime.

3. The detention or arrest was unlawful.

If you were unlawfully detained or arrested, your criminal defense lawyer can file a suppression motion to keep out evidence that resulted from that unlawful detention or arrest.

Although Giving False I.D. to a Police Officer is a misdemeanor, having it on your record can make you look like a dishonest person. We are aggressive at fighting these cases because of the potential consequences to our clients OUTSIDE of court. Usually, our clients want to avoid taking this kind of charge because of the potential employment repercussions. Whether it is because you were wrongly accused due to a misunderstanding or because you were the victim of an unlawful search, we will fight your criminal case aggressively. We are located in Orange County but also serve LA County, Riverside County, San Bernardino, and all of southern California. We can conduct business with our clients both in person and remotely. Our phone number is 213-235-7969 and we look forward to discussing your case with you.

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