California Business & Professions Code Section 22430 BPC: Deceptive Identification Documents

1. Definition and Elements of the Crimedeceptive ID

Deceptive identification documents can be used to facilitate a wide variety of criminal offenses. The California legislature has recognized this and has drafted several laws that address the production and use of fraudulent or deceptive documents. Under California Business and Professions Code Section 22430 BPC, it is unlawful to manufacture or sell deceptive identification documents. Those charged with this offense face a potential felony conviction.

To prove that a defendant is guilty under California Business and Professions Code Section 22430 BPC, a prosecutor would have to prove the following elements:

  1. The defendant manufactured, sold, offered for sale, furnished, offered to be furnished, transported, offered to be transported, or imported or offered to be imported into California a deceptive identification document.
  2. AND the defendant knew or reasonably should have known that the deceptive identification document would be used for fraudulent purposes.

A “deceptive identification document” means any document not issued by a governmental agency of California, another state or the federal government, which purports to be, or which might deceive an ordinary reasonable person into believing that it is, a document issued by such an agency, including but not limited to, a driver’s license, identification card, birth certificate, passport or social security card.

If the document in question has the phrase “NOT A GOVERNMENT DOCUMENT” printed diagonally across the face of the document in not less than 14-point type, as well as the name of the manufacturer, California Business and Professions Code Section 22430 would not apply.

2. Related Offenses

Other similar or related offenses include:

  1. Manufacturing or Selling Counterfeit Identification Cards – California Vehicle Code Section 13004.1 VC
  2. Forgery of a Driver’s License – California Penal Code Section 470a PC
  3. Unlawful Use of Identification Cards – California Vehicle Code Section 13004 VC
  4. Forgery – California Penal Code Section 470 PC
3. Examples

A man begins designing and printing fake government identification cards using his computer and a printing press. The man knows that the fake ID’s will be used for fraudulent purposes. The man could be charged criminally under California Business and Professions Code Section 22430 BPC for manufacturing deceptive identification documents.

4. Defenses to Deceptive Identification Documents

A defendant would only be criminally liable under California Business and Professions Code Section 22430 BPC where he knew or reasonably should have known that the documents would be used for a fraudulent purpose. If the defendant can show that the documents were for entertainment purposes or another legitimate purpose he or she would not be guilty of this offense.

5. How a Deceptive Identification Documents Case is Defended

A deceptive identification documents may begin after forged identification or manufacturing equipment is discovered during the execution of a search warrant. The case may be investigated by local law enforcement or by a specialized state agency.

If charged with this offense, a defendant would have to appear before a judge or magistrate to enter a plea. If charged with a felony, the prosecution would have to prove that there is probable cause to support the alleged charges at a preliminary examination conducted before a judge.

If the case is unable to resolve, the case would proceed to trial where the prosecution would be required to prove the defendant’s guilt to a judge or jury beyond a reasonable doubt. A jury’s verdict would have to be unanimous for the defendant to be convicted.

6. Penalties

Manufacturing or selling deceptive identification documents is a “wobbler” crime that can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor. If felony charges are filed, the defendant can be sentenced to a maximum three years in prison. If the defendant is charged with this offense as a misdemeanor, the maximum punishment that can be assessed is a year in county jail.

7. Criminal Defense for Deceptive Identification Documents Cases

If you have been charged with manufacturing or selling deceptive identification documents, it is crucial that you discuss your case with a qualified Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer immediately. As a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience, Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Michael Kraut is a highly capable advocate who knows how to effectively defend those charged with crimes like this.

For more information about deceptive identification documents, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located at 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1520, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.

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