False Personation (NYPL 190.23)

False personation is a crime of falsely assuming the identity of another person in order to gain a benefit or cause harm to the other person.

False personation differs from identity theft. Identity theft is the act of acquiring through illicit means the data or documentation needed to pass oneself off as another individual, generally for the purpose of material gain. False impersonation refers to misrepresentation of one’s own identity for the purpose of deceiving another individual.

If you give false information to the police in New York upon your arrest, you may find yourself charged with False Personation. False Personation is a form of fraud is a potentially serious offense.

Title 18 of the United States Code makes it a federal crime to falsely present oneself as an officer or employee acting under the authority of the United States or any department, agency or officer thereof for the purpose of attaining money, paper, document, or thing of value. False personation laws have been enacted at both the state and federal levels to protect the dignity, reputation, and economic well-being of the individual being impersonated. False personation statutes may prohibit false personation of another generally, or they may specify a particular group, office, or profession.

False personation. N. Y. Penal Law § 190.23

A person is guilty of false personation when after being informed of the consequences of such act, he/she knowingly misrepresents his/her actual name, date of birth or address to a police officer or peace officer with intent to prevent such police officer or peace officer from ascertaining such information.

False personation is a class B misdemeanor, punishable by jail.

If a police officer pulls a driver over for speeding, and the driver pretends to be his/her brother or sister, the driver is guilty of false personation. In some cases, you could be given the opportunity to rectify the mistake or supersede the information. If the police tries to ascertain certain information, you are advised of the consequences if you misrepresent, and you in fact misrepresent to prevent the police from determining your true identity, then you may have bought yourself a night in jail. If the law enforcement does not proceed with the original criminal charges you should be released and the case is over.

A mere assertion by a police officer, without corroboration or a cure to any hearsay, can ultimately deem the complaint in question legally insufficient. False personation charge can carry jail time and you need to rely on a criminal defense lawyer who knows how to present your defense successfully.