Anyone who makes a false statement in relation to a Colorado driving or traffic requirement may be charged with making a false affidavit. This could include filling out a Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) form, making a statement to a DMV question, or providing false information regarding a traffic violation. A false affidavit is a class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense.
In this article, our Colorado criminal defense lawyers will address:
- 1. What is a false affidavit in Colorado?
- 2. What are the penalties for giving a false affidavit or statement?
- 3. Will giving a false affidavit affect my Colorado driver’s license?
- 4. Related Offenses
1. What is a false affidavit in Colorado?
“Any person who makes any false affidavit or knowingly swears or affirms falsely to any matter or thing required by the terms of this part 1 to be sworn to or affirmed commits a class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense.”1
There are a number of documents to be filled out and statements made to DMV employees in Colorado. This includes getting a new Colorado driver’s license, making a change of address for the DMV, obtaining a commercial driver’s license, or applying for a probationary license. Making a false statement, false affidavit, or falsely affirming information in regards to a driver’s license is a traffic offense.
If the Colorado Department of Revenue determines you made a false affidavit to any matter required by the terms of the vehicle and traffic code, the Department will notify the district attorney’s office in the county where the violations occurred and inform the DA of all violations.
There are a number of reasons a person may make a false affidavit in relation to a DMV requirement. This includes claiming a false address to appear as an in-state resident, falsely claiming insurance coverage under another driver’s insurance, claiming not to have corrective lenses, or failing to report license restrictions in other states or countries. Many people may think that a false affidavit is a minor offense, however, it can still result in a fine and restrictions on your ability to drive.
2. What are the penalties for giving a false affidavit or statement?
Making a false statement or affidavit is a class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense. The penalties for a false affidavit include between 10 and 90 days in jail, and a fine of up to $900. However, in most cases, an individual convicted of making a false affidavit can be sentenced to probation and avoid serving jail time.
3. Will giving a false affidavit affect my Colorado driver’s license?
If the DMV determines that you made a false affidavit, that false information may affect whether you are issued a driver’s license. However, a conviction for a false affidavit will not generally immediately result in a revoked license.
A false affidavit under CRS 42-2-137 is considered a Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO) offense.2 A habitual offender is any person who has accumulated convictions for separate and distinct specified offenses below. If you receive three HTO offenses within a 7-year period, you may be designated a habitual traffic offender. As an HTO, the DMV will immediately revoke your driver’s license or permit for 5 years.
HTO offenses include:
- Colorado DUI, DUI per se, or DWAI;
- Reckless driving3;
- Driving on a suspended or revoked license 4;
- Knowingly making any false affidavit or swearing or affirming falsely to any matter or thing required by the motor vehicle laws or as to information required in the administration of such laws 5;
- Vehicular assault, homicide, or aggravated motor vehicle theft; and
- Conviction for failing to perform duties required in an injury accident 6.
4. Related Offenses
Making a false affidavit may be related to other traffic or criminal offenses. Other related offenses related to the misrepresentation or misuse of a driver’s license include the unlawful use of a driver’s license, unlawful acts with a false ID, or identity theft.
4.1 C.R.S. 42-2-136 Unlawful Possession or Use of a License
Colorado statute CRS 42-2-136 applies similar restrictions on the unlawful use of a standard driver’s license. The possession or use of an altered or fraudulent license or use of another driver’s license is a class 2 misdemeanor. Penalties for the unlawful use of a driver’s license include up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
4.2 C.R.S. 42-2-309 Unlawful Acts with a False ID
It is also unlawful in Colorado to display or use a fraudulently obtained identification card. This includes allowing another person to use your valid ID. Use of a fake ID is a class 3 misdemeanor. Penalties include up to 6 months in jail and a fine of up to $750.
4.3 C.R.S. 18-5-902 Identity Theft
Identity theft involves knowingly using another person’s personal or financial information, or use a check or credit card in their name to obtain money or anything of value. Under CRS 18-5-902, identity theft is a class 4 felony in Colorado. Penalties include 2 to 6 years in jail, mandatory 3 years parole, and a fine of up to $500,000. A subsequent conviction for identity theft can increase the jail sentence to a maximum of 12 years.
Call us for help…
If you were accused of making a false affidavit relating to a driver’s license or motor vehicle, please contact us at Colorado Legal Defense Group. Our caring Colorado defense attorneys have many years of experience representing clients who have been charged with motor vehicle violations and criminal offenses. We are among the best Colorado criminal defense attorneys to call. Contact us today for a free consultation by phone or in-person or in our Denver law office.
- C.R.S. 42–2–137
- C.R.S. 42–2–202
- C.R.S. 42–4–1401
- C.R.S. 42–2–138
- C.R.S. 42–2–137
- C.R.S. 42–4–160