False Personation: NY Penal Law 190.23

The crime of False Personation, New York Penal Law 190.23, is somewhat unique or at least different than most other crimes in the New York Penal Law including those classified as Identity Theft and Identity Fraud related offenses. Unlike crimes where you, the accused, are arrested for using another person’s identity, credit card or you secure a service or property posing as someone else, False Personation has a different foundation. Better examined and explained by your criminal defense lawyer, a quick reading of PL 190.23 still provides a clear understanding of the statute.

According to PL 190.23, you are guilty of False Personation if after being advised of the consequences of giving a police officer or detective false information regarding your actual date of birth, name and address, you fail to provide accurate and honest answers to law enforcement. In doing so you must also have the intent to prevent that police officer or peace officer from ascertaining the right information.

A class “B” misdemeanor, the punishment for a False Personation conviction does not waiver whether you have aggravated the police to the point that they “sit” on you all day before depositing you in Central Booking or a local jail until you see a judge or they cut you lose after a few hours with a Desk Appearance Ticket. In either scenario, a conviction for PL 190.23 is not merely career crushing, professional license compromising and immigration status damaging, but even without a prior criminal record a judge can sentence you to as much as ninety days in jail. Assuming that incarceration is on the high end of the spectrum of penalties, which your False Personation lawyer will advise depending on the facts and evidence in your case, the District Attorney can seek, and a criminal court judge can grant, one year probation, community service or a possible fine.

False Personation is by no means the most drastic or feared crime in the New York Penal Law, but one that is no less a criminal offense. When it comes to criminal records, a conviction is a conviction. Complicating matters, PL 190.23 stems from the facts, or allegation, that despite being warned and advised of the importance of being honest, you lied to the police. The negative perception of and against this crime is significant. Might you have a very real defense because the police did not have the authority or ability to question you or demand your personal information? Potentially. Could you have a defense to an arrest for False Personation? Of course. However, if you do not take the steps to protect yourself as soon as the arrest process starts or you are able, the more difficult it will be for your attorney to exonerate you or limit your criminal exposure.

Whether or not you made a stupid mistake, you were angry or in the moment you had no interest in cooperating with a police inquiry, you have rights and defenses. Think rationally and calmly. With knowledge, experience and advocacy, the right attorney can remedy the unenviable situation you find yourself. The New York criminal lawyers and former Manhattan Assistant District Attorneys at Crotty Saland PC are ready to defend you in your time of need.

Call us at 212.312.7129 or contact us online today to speak with our New York attorneys and former Manhattan prosecutors.