Federal Defense Lawyer Explains Crime of False Personification

If you falsely represent yourself as someone who you aren’t, you could be charged with a criminal offense. In certain circumstances, false personification could actually result in federal criminal charges.

It’s important to understand whether you are being charged by the federal government and what a prosecutor must prove if you are accused of false impersonation.

Federal charges for false personification can carry serious penalties, and not all criminal defense lawyers have the experience necessary to help you fight against conviction. If you live in Arizona, California, Utah, Nevada, Oregon, or surrounding areas and you have been accused of false personification, LV Criminal Defense can help.

The federal defense lawyers on our legal team have provided representation to many defendants accused of false personification and we can put together a strong defense, help you case doubt on evidence, or assist in negotiating a plea agreement.

To find out more about how our firm can provide the help and support you need to fight serious charges, give us a call today.

Federal Laws On False Personification

Laws related to falsely impersonating others are found within 18 U.S. Code Chapter 43, which contains seven different statutes establishing crimes related to false personification. These statutes address situations where specific individuals or groups of individuals are falsely impersonated. These include:

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  • 18 U.S. Code section 911: Citizens of the United States
  • 18 U.S. Code section 912: Officers or employee of the United States
  • 18 U.S. Code section 913: Impersonators making arrest or search
  • 18 U.S. Code section 914: Creditors of the United States
  • 18 U.S. Code section 915: Foreign diplomats, consuls or officers
  • 18 U.S. Code section 916: 4–H Club members or agents
  • 18 U.S. Code section 917: Red Cross members or agents

Each of these different statutes defines a different type of false personification and establishes specific requirements for what a prosecutor must prove in order for a defendant to be convicted. Each also specifies the penalties that could be imposed for the specific type of false personation that has taken place.

For example, under 18 U.S. Code section 911, willfully and falsely presenting yourself to be a citizen of the United States when you aren’t one can result in imprisonment for up to three years as well as a fine. Under 18 U.S. Code section 912, a defendant could be fined and imprisoned for a maximum of three years for falsely pretending to be an officer or an employee that is acting under the authority of the United States or any agency or department of the United States.

A three year penalty is also imposed under 18 U.S. Code section 913 for a defendant convicted of falsely representing himself to be an agent, officer, or employee of the U.S. who searches another person or building or who arrests or detains another person while preventing to be an agent of the U.S. government.

A longer penalty is imposed under 18 U.S. Code section 914, which deals with the crime of falsely impersonating a creditor of the United States. A defendant can be convicted of this offense for impersonating a lawful holder of public stocks, U.S. debt, or any annuities, dividends, pension, wages or other debts due from the United States. For a defendant to be convicted the defendant must receive or try to transfer the money from the lawful owner while impersonating a creditor. If convicted of this offense, the defendant could face up to five years of imprisonment.

For impersonating a diplomat, counsel, or officer, the penalty established by 18 U.S. Code section 915 is even longer still. A defendant can be convicted of violating this federal law by pretending to be a diplomat, consular or other official of a foreign government who demands or tries to obtain money, papers, documents, or any other things of value. If convicted, a defendant could face a maximum penalty of 10 years.

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By contrast, a shorter penalty of just six months is imposed under 18 U.S. Code section 916 for impersonating a 4-H Club member or agent, while a five year penalty is again imposed for the impersonation of a member of the Red Cross or an agent of the red cross.

Since each different type of false personation has a different definition of what a defendant must do in order to be convicted, and since each of the different offenses found within 18 U.S. Code Chapter 43 carry different types of penalties, it is important that a defendant facing federal charges for false personation understand the specifics of the offense that he has been charged with.

Being represented by an attorney is helpful because a federal defense lawyers knows the law and can explain what elements of a crime a prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt in order to secure a conviction.

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Getting help from a Federal Criminal Defense Attorney

You cannot afford to delay in responding to accusations of false personification, as it is your future at stake when you are facing charges. You want to respond assertively and appropriately to accusations against you to lessen the likelihood of conviction and maximize the chances of acquittal or a minimal sentence negotiated as part of a favorable plea deal. LV Criminal Defense will help you to evaluate the charges and the evidence against you so you can develop a strategy that works for you.

Every case is different, so getting personalized legal help from federal criminal lawyers is key to reducing the chances you’ll be convicted of false personification and face life changing penalties.

Our firm represents clients in California, Arizona, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, or surrounding areas and we can put our extensive knowledge of federal laws on false personification to work to help you navigate the federal criminal justice system. To find out more about how we can help you, give us a call today.