Using False Documents To Conceal Your True Citizenship – Penal Code Section 114
It is illegal for any person in the United States to use documents that are false in order to conceal their true citizenship. A lot of people are doing this when they illegally enter the United States and then they need some sort of documentation in order to work, to get a driver’s license, in order to do obviously a lot of things in Los Angeles. It’s important that they realize that if you use false documents to conceal your true citizenship, you could be facing a felony charge that is punishable by up to three years in state prison and other restrictions. Obviously, once you get convicted of this crime, you would be deported back to your own country
So, if you’re charged with Penal Code Section 114, really what the government has to prove is #1, you’re using false documents; #2 whatever documents you have are false and; #3 you know that the documents are false. This happens all the time when people are trying to get a job and they need some sort of documentation, so, they either create false documents themselves or they buy them from somebody who has created false documents. This is a serious offense. It not only affects your potential freedom, it could also affect your future rights to become a citizen. It could also affect your right to vote in the future were you to become a citizen – your right to bear arms. There’s a number of consequences. Of course, in addition to being put in jail, you could have a criminal record that #1 you can’t get off; and #2 will block you from becoming a citizen in the future.
Is Using False Documents to Conceal Your True Citizenship Pursuant to Penal Code Section 114 a Felony or a Misdemeanor?
This crime is a wobbler, which means it can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor. If you’re doing something serious enough, then the government will charge it as a felony. If it’s not as serious they will charge it as a misdemeanor. This is really a discretionary thing when it comes to Penal Code Section 114 as to whether or not the government is going to charge this case as a felony and be facing prison time, or whether it will be a misdemeanor and you’ll be facing up to six months in the county jail. If someone is using false documents to conceal their true identity or their citizenship because they want to commit some other more serious crime, you can bet that the prosecutors will charge that scenario with a felony. Whether they’re doing it because they want to get their driver’s license or using it in order to be able to work in the country that would certainly be a better argument that all they’re trying to do is survive and it shouldn’t be charged as a felony. It should only be charged as a misdemeanor.
What Are Some Defenses to Penal Code Section 114 Using False Documents to Conceal Your True Citizenship?
One of the defenses would obviously be that whatever documents you’re using that is, in fact, you and you’re not trying to conceal anything. Really, the defenses to this particular crime are going to center around the facts and circumstances of the case, and obviously, a judge will look at the totality of the circumstances in trying to decide whether or not you’re guilty of Penal Code Section 114.
What I have you do is come into the office. We sit down. You show me all the information that you have related to the offense. I can do some research on my own to find out what’s going on by calling the courts and the prosecutor’s office, and then we really develop a plan on exactly how we’re going to deal with the situation and what some of the strategies we will use to either completely defend the crime, or if it’s really not defensible because they have the evidence against you, then we’re going to try to figure out how we’re going to mitigate the situation. A lot of times we will also get an immigration attorney involved because obviously anybody who is using false documents to conceal their true citizenship is someone who is probably either illegally in the country or has some other limitations on their citizenship
The goal will be to try to avoid a conviction if we can, or at least avoid a felony conviction and see if maybe there is some other lesser crime that we can get the prosecutors to agree to. Again, with an eye towards not only keeping you out of jail but protecting your record so that you have the chance in the future to become a citizen of the United States if that’s what you chose to do.
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