Most people in Utah are aware that it is unwise to respond to police questioning without a criminal defense attorney with you to protect your rights. As experienced Utah criminal defense lawyers, one of the first things we tell our clients is not to answer any questions from law enforcement officers without our professional advice. However, an important exception to this guild line is that you are required by Utah law to truthfully provide your identity if you are asked to do so by a peace officer during a lawful stop. Even if you don’t have an opportunity to first consult with a Utah criminal defense attorney, it is never a good idea to lie to a police officer, especially about your identity. If you have been charged with giving False Information to a Peace Officer in Utah you need to take the charges seriously, because you can be sure that the police will take them seriously. If you are truly concerned about protecting your future you should call a criminal defense attorney with experience defending against False Information to a Peace Officer charges in Utah as soon as possible.
At Intermountain Legal, our criminal defense lawyers understand the motivations that could lead someone to lie to the police about their identity. We have helped hundreds of people who have dealt with concerns about how revealing their true identity to the police, and the possibility of resulting criminal charges, could affect their immigration status, their probation or plea agreement, or outstanding warrants. Our criminal defense attorneys can protect your rights and help you minimize the consequences of your False Information to a Peace Officer charges.
Utah Law on Giving False Information to a Peace Officer
In Utah, a peace officer is authorized to ask questions about your identity in the course the lawful discharge of the peace officer’s official duty. For most people, the best known example of the lawful discharge of a peace officer’s official duty would be a traffic stop. If the police ask you a question about your identity in this kind of a setting then you must answer truthfully.
The Utah law forbidding providing False Information to a Peace Officer (76-8-507) is divided into two different crimes: First, it is illegal to mislead a peace officer as to your identity by knowingly giving the peace office a false name, birth date, or address. If you mislead a law enforcement officer in this manner you can be charged with a class C misdemeanor. If you are convicted of a class C misdemeanor in Utah the consequences can include a fine of up to $750 and up to 90 days in jail.
Second, it is illegal to mislead a peace officer as to your identity by telling them that you are another actual person. This crime consists of giving the peace officer someone else’s real name, birth date, or address. Utah considers this a more serious crime, so this type of False Information to a Peace Officer can result in a class A misdemeanor. Class A misdemeanors are punishable by a fine of up to $2500 and up to a year in jail.
Either type of misdemeanor conviction will remain a part of your permanent criminal record and could create problems down the road for employment, lease agreements, and countless other unforeseen scenarios.
Contact a Utah False Information to a Peace Officer Attorney
Both types of False Information to a Peace Officer charges can have serious consequences for your future. If you have been arrested for False Information to a Peace Officer, you need the help of an experienced Utah criminal defense lawyer. The criminal defense lawyers at Intermountain Legal know what needs to be done to protect your rights and defend you in these difficult circumstances. Our criminal defense attorneys are also experienced in discovering and defending the situations where the police may not have had the legal right to ask for your identity in the first place. Protect yourself by calling the False Information to a Police Officer criminal defense lawyers at Intermountain Legal for a free consultation at 801-990-4200 or by clicking here to contact an attorney by email.