Business and Professions Code 22430 BPC – Deceptive Identification Documents

California Business and Professions Code 22430 BPC is the California statute that makes it a crime for a person to manufacture or sell deceptive identification documents. These documents include:

  • driver's licenses,
  • identification cards, and
  • passports.

According to this statute:

“No deceptive identification document shall be manufactured, sold, offered for sale, furnished, offered to be furnished, transported, offered to be transported, or imported or offered to be imported into this state unless there is diagonally across the face of the document, in not less than 14-point type and printed conspicuously on the document in permanent ink, the following statement:  

NOT A GOVERNMENT DOCUMENT

and, also printed conspicuously on the document, the name of the manufacturer.”

Examples of illegal acts under this code section are:

  • Wilson makes a fake I.D. for a teenager knowing that he will use it to unlawfully buy beer.
  • Kim sells a fake passport to a friend and knows she will use it to commit a crime.
  • Darnell drives into California carrying a fake birth certificate with the intent to sell it for money.

Defenses

Luckily, there are several legal defenses that a person can raise if accused of a crime. These include showing that an accused party:

Penalties

A violation of Business and professions Code 22430 is a wobbler offense under California law. This means it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony.

If charged as a misdemeanor, the crime is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for up to one year.

If charged as a felony, the offense is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for up to three years.

Our California criminal defense attorneys will highlight the following in this article:

fake id

1. What is prohibited under Business and Professions Code 22430 BPC?

California Business and Professions Code 22430 BPC is the California statute that makes it a crime for a person to manufacture or sell deceptive identification documents.1

A prosecutor must prove two thigs to successfully convict a defendant under this statute. These are that the accused:

  1. manufactured, sold, furnished, transported, or imported into California a deceptive identification document, and
  2. knew, or should have known, that the document would be used for fraudulent purposes.2

Examples of a “deceptive identification document” include a:

  • driver's license,
  • identification card,
  • birth certificate,
  • passport, and
  • social security card.3

2. Are there legal defenses?

Three common defenses to this section are:

  1. no knowledge of fraud,
  2. falsely accused, and/or,
  3. unlawful search or seizure.

2.1. No knowledge of fraud

Please recall that for a defendant to be guilty under this statute, a prosecutor must prove that he knew the I.D. document was to be used for a fraudulent purpose. Therefore, a solid legal defense is for an accused to show that he did not have this knowledge.

2.2. Falsely accused

Unfortunately, it is not at all uncommon for people to get prosecuted based on false allegations. People get falsely accused out of

  • jealousy,
  • revenge, and
  • anger.

Thus, it is a valid defense for a defendant to say that a party falsely accused him of violating BPC 22430.

2.3. Unlawful search or seizure

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution declares that we have the right to be free from unreasonable “searches and seizures” by law enforcement. If authorities obtain evidence from an unreasonable, or unlawful search and seizure, then that evidence can get excluded from a criminal case. This means that any charges in the case could get reduced or even dismissed.

man behind bars

3. Penalties, punishment, and sentencing

A violation of Business and professions Code 22430 is a wobbler offense under California law. This means it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony.

If charged as a misdemeanor, the crime is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for up to one year.4

In lieu of imprisonment, a judge has the discretion to impose misdemeanor probation.

If charged as a felony, the offense is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for up to three years.5

In lieu of imprisonment, a judge has the discretion to impose felony, or formal, probation.

4. Related offenses

There are three crimes related to making or selling deceptive identification documents. These are:

  1. failure to report by a pawnbroker – BPC 21628
  2. having a fake driver's license or I.D. card – PC 470b and,
  3. false advertising – BPC 17500.

4.1. Failure to report by a pawnbroker – BPC 21628

Business and Professions Code 21628 is the California statute that makes it a crime if a pawnbroker fails to comply with certain reporting requirements. These requirements apply to any property that the pawnbroker buys, trades, or receives.6

A violation of BPC 21628 is charged as a misdemeanor. The crime is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for up to six months.

4.2. Having a fake driver's license or I.D. card – PC 470b

California Penal Code 470b PC makes it a crime for a person to either display or possess

a fake identification card with the intent to use that fake ID to commit a forgery.7

“Intent to use a fake ID to commit a forgery” means an intent to use the ID to commit fraud - that is, deceive another person, in order to cause loss or damage to a legal, financial, or property right.

A violation of PC 470b is a wobbler offense, meaning it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony.

If charged as a misdemeanor, the crime is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for up to one year.

If charged as a felony, the offense is punishable by imprisonment for up to three years.

4.3. False advertising – BPC 17500

California Business and Professions Code 17500 BPC is the California statute that makes false advertising a crime.

A person or company that violates BPC 17500 is guilty of a misdemeanor.8 The offense is punishable by:

  • imprisonment in the county jail for up to six months; and/or,
  • a fine not to exceed $2,500.9

Were you accused of making or selling a deceptive identification document in California? Call us for help…

california attorneys
Call us for help at (855) LAW-FIRM

If you or someone you know has been accused of a crime under Business and Professions Code 22430 BPC, we invite you to contact us for a free consultation. We can be reached 24/7 at 855-LawFirm.


Legal References:

  1. California Business and Professions Code 22430 BPC. This code section states: “No deceptive identification document shall be manufactured, sold, offered for sale, furnished, offered to be furnished, transported, offered to be transported, or imported or offered to be imported into this state unless there is diagonally across the face of the document, in not less than 14-point type and printed conspicuously on the document in permanent ink, the following statement:  

    NOT A GOVERNMENT DOCUMENT

    and, also printed conspicuously on the document, the name of the manufacturer.”

  2. See same.

  3. See same.

  4. See same.

  5. California Penal Code 1170 PC.

  6. California Business and Professions Code 21628 BPC.

  7. California Penal Code 470b PC.

  8. California Business and Professions Code 17500 BPC.

  9. See same.

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