Is It Actually Illegal to Give a Fake Name to the Cops?
If you have been pulled over by the police and been tempted to tell them you were someone else, you aren’t alone. Many of us have given thought at one time or another to giving a fake name or point our finger in someone else’s direction. You may even hold on to the mistaken belief that giving the police a name that isn’t your own will keep you out of trouble. The truth is, it could backfire.
Officers are trained in the fine art of lie detection. Not only are most officers able to determine when someone may be providing them with false information, but that have resources with which to verify the information given. If you choose to give the police a fake name, here’s what could happen.
It’s a Crime
It isn’t the case in all states, but it is a crime in most. If you choose to give the police a fake name, you could be facing additional charges and stiffer penalties. For example, in Georgia, O.C.G.A. 16-10-25 (2010) states:
“A person who gives a false name, address, or date of birth to a law enforcement officer in the lawful discharge of his official duties with the intent of misleading the officer as to his identity or birthdate is guilty of a misdemeanor.”
How to Talk to the Police in Georgia — or Anywhere Else
If you do have an encounter with the police in Georgia, there are ways to speak with them. While you certainly have the right to remain silent, you should ask yourself why you are refusing to speak. At the very least, you should provide the officer with accurate identifying information. An officer has the right to ask you to identify yourself, even if you aren’t suspected of criminal activity.
In any encounter with the police, it is typically in your best interest to remain calm and courteous. You don’t have to answer questions beyond basic identity questions without a lawyer present, but you do need to be respectful. It’s easy to lose your cool, especially in the types of situations that would cause you to come into contact with the police in the first place, but do you should do your best.
If you are ever in question with what you should or shouldn’t say to the police, err on the side of caution and ask to speak with an attorney. Keep in mind, however, that there is nothing that says the police have to find you a lawyer. Most people don’t have attorneys on retainer, so you will need to locate one on your own.
If you are arrested in DeKalb County, you could be facing serious consequences. You need a strong criminal defense attorney on your side. Reach out to our office today for a free case evaluation. We will review the details of your case and advise you of your legal rights. Don’t fight your charges on your own, call our office now.