Penal Code 470(a) PC

PC 470(a) – Forgery of a Driver’s License

Penal Code Section 470A PC - Forgery of A Driver’s License

Forgery of a Driver’s License – Table of Contents

Penal Code Section 470a PC: Forgery of A Driver’s License

A driving license is an essential document for most individuals. Not only does it prove that you are legally allowed to drive, but it also serves as your main means of identification throughout the country. Thus, it comes as no surprise that some individuals are tempted to forge a driver’s license.

However, forging a driver’s license is a crime under the California Penal Code 470(a) PC. The exact wording of this statute asserts:

470a. Every person who alters falsifies, forges, duplicates, or in any manner reproduces or counterfeits any driver’s license or identification card issued by a governmental agency with the intent that such driver’s license or identification card be used to facilitate the commission of any forgery, is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, or by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170.

To be convicted for the forgery of a driver’s license under the Penal Code 470(a) PC, the prosecutor has to prove the following factors:

  • The defendant altered, falsified, duplicated, reproduced, counterfeited, or forged a driver’s license or a government-issued identification card.
  • The defendant did this intending for the driver’s license or government-issued ID card to assist in committing forgery.

In California, a person intends to commit forgery when they use an altered or falsified document to get an unjust personal gain.

An important thing to note is for a conviction under the PC 470(a) is that it is not necessary for anyone to actually get defrauded or suffer a loss from the accused actions. The important part is to prove the accused had intent.

Sentencing/Punishment 647.6 PC

The violation of the Penal Code 470(a) PC is considered a wobbler offense. This simply means that the offense can either be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. The prosecutor will usually look at several factors, such as the criminal history of the defendant and the facts of the case when deciding which charges to pursue.

If the case is charged as a misdemeanor if convicted. The defendant is liable to the sentencing of up to one year in county jail or a maximum fine of $1,000.

If the case is charged as a felony if convicted. The defendant is liable to a sentencing of up to three years in a state prison or a maximum fine of $10,000.

There are similar offenses related to forging a driver’s license. They include:

  • Forgery, under the California Penal Code Section 470 PC. This offense occurs when people falsify signatures or manipulate specific documents such as credit cards, money orders, or cashier checks for personal gain.
  • Forgery or Counterfeiting of a Public or Corporate seal under the California Penal Code Section 472 PC.
  • Possessing or Displaying a Counterfeit Driver’s License or Identification under the California Penal Code Section 470B PC.
  • Possession of Counterfeit Items under the California Penal Code Section 475 PC.

Prosecuting for Penal Code 470(a) PC

To understand how the prosecutor successfully convicts, you need to understand the language of the penal code. Remember to be convicted under the CA Penal Code 470(a) PC the prosecutor has to prove these two elements:

  • The defendant altered, falsified, duplicated, reproduced, counterfeited, or forged a driver’s license or a government-issued identification card.
  • The defendant did this with the intent of the driver’s license or government-issued ID card assisting to commit forgery.

Did You Forge A Driver’s License?

This is the first element of the penal code. The prosecutor has to prove that you knowingly created, reproduced, or falsified a driver’s license or government-issued identity card.

Did You Intend to Commit Fraud?

This is the second element of proving the forgery of a driver’s license. Proving the defendant created the document with the intent of it being used to help commit forgery. Intent to commit for forgery is usually a bit harder to prove. The prosecutor will point to your actions, statements, and relationships to prove that you intended for someone to gain an undeserved advantage using the forged driver’s license or government-issued identity card.

Defending Penal Code 470(a) PC

There are a couple of legal defense strategies that a criminal defense attorney can use to prove your innocence if you are charged under the PC 470(a). They include:

1. No Intent To Commit Forgery

A key element of violating the Penal Code 470(a) PC is proving the accused had the intent to commit forgery. This means that if their criminal defense lawyer proves that the accused created the forged driver’s license for a valid reason or as a prank, they may be able to get the defendant’s charges dropped, reduced, or dismissed.

2. Violation of a Constitutional Right

California is a free state. Thus, the police must follow the constitution to the latter when arresting the defendant. If any of the accused’s constitutional rights are violated a criminal defense lawyer can use this to contest the charges. Some constitutional violations a criminal defense attorney could use against the prosecution include if the police:

  • Obtain a forced confession
  • Failed to read the accused their Miranda rights
  • Conduct a search or seizure without a search warrant or probable cause
  • Arrested the defendant without probable cause.

These violations can allow a criminal defense attorney to get your charges reduced or dismissed.

Accused of the Forgery of a Driver’s License? – Hire Us

The Esfandi Law Firm has over 20 years of experience handling a variety of crimes in Los Angeles, making them the perfect person to defend you in CA Penal Code 470(a) PC. Seppi Esfandi aggressively fights for his clients ensuring they get the best results possible.

Call Us for a FREE Case Review: 310-274-6529

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Seppi had my case reduced to just an infraction, and thanks to him I was able to keep my job. Jorge was extremely helpful too, the reason I went with this law firm. Overall pleased.

How to Win Your Case

We cannot stress enough that you read, understand and follow these 10 basic rules if you are criminally charged or under investigation:

  1. Don’t ever talk to the police
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  4. Tell police you need to contact your attorney
  5. Never consent to any search by the police
  6. If the police knock on your door, don't answer!
  7. Realize the consequences of a criminal conviction
  8. Your lawyer (not you) will contact any witnesses
  9. Information on your cell phone is evidence
  10. Early Intervention is the key

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