False personation is a criminal offense under the federal laws of the U.S. You generally commit the crime of citizen false personation if you falsely represent yourself to be a U.S. citizen. The crime can result in both fines and imprisonment in federal prison. Please contact a skilled criminal defense attorney now if you or a loved one has been charged with a federal offense.
What is Federal Law on Citizen False Personation?
18 U.S. Code 911 is the federal statute that sets forth the crime of U.S. citizen false personation. Under this law, you commit a crime if you falsely and willfully represent yourself to be a citizen of the U.S. For example, a non-citizen would be guilty of this crime if he/she acknowledged of being a citizen on an employment application.
Note that the false impersonator does not have to provide the specific name of a U.S. citizen to be guilty of this crime. Similarly, the false impersonator does not have to assume or take on the specific identity of a citizen. You are guilty of this crime simply by falsely stating that you are a citizen.
What are the Penalties?
False personation is a serious crime under federal law. The potential penalties for the offense include:
- A fine, and
- Custody in federal prison for up to three years.
Can a Defendant Raise a Legal Defense?
Yes. People charged with false personation under federal law can contest the charge with a legal defense. Recall that you are only guilty of this offense if you act willfully, or with the specific purpose of representing yourself as a lawful citizen. A defense, then, is for a defendant to show that he/she did not act with this aim.
Consider, for example, the scenario where a non-citizen is filling out some employment forms. The person accidentally checks a box admitting to be a U.S. citizen. Here, the person is likely not guilty of false personation because he/she did not act willfully.
An accused can also defend against a charge by providing evidence that shows he/she is truly a citizen. If you’re truly a citizen of the U.S., then there is no false representation. The result is that a judge would drop your charge.
Contact Black & Askerov for Help
While a defendant can raise a legal defense to challenge a false personation charge, it will take a skilled criminal defense attorney to raise the best defense. The experienced federal crime attorneys at Black & Askerov have over 30 years of combined experience defending clients on various federal charges. Our Seattle criminal defense lawyers also have the skill and commitment that makes all the difference in these cases. Our attorneys will fight tooth and nail for you at every step of your case. Contact us now to get the legal help you deserve!