Speak with Police only if a Utah Criminal Defense Attorney is Present
Many people in Utah who encounter police are very nervous to speak with them for various different reasons. Most people make the mistake of telling police too much when being questioned. Utah criminal defense attorneys repeatedly tell clients and potential clients to never speak with a police officer without a Utah criminal defense attorney present. The fifth amendment of the United States Constitution protects individuals from self-incrimination meaning that people under investigation for a crime such as marijuana possession or DUI are not required to speak to the police. The right to remain silent, however, does not mean a person can remain completely silent. People stopped by police for a traffic offense or in another lawful manner are required to five police personal identifying information such as the person’s name, address, and birth date. A person who fails to comply with this requirement may be arrested and in need of the services of a Utah criminal defense attorney.
False Personal Information to a Police Officer is a Misdemeanor
Because people are required to give personal identifying information, Utah law makes it a crime for a person to give false personal information to a police officer. People will often give false personal information to a police officer because they believe a warrant is out for their arrest, or they otherwise do not want the police to know who they are. Giving false personal information to a police officer will only make a situation worse, however, because the person faces a class A misdemeanor or a class C misdemeanor in addition to the warrant they are trying to avoid.
A person is guilty of giving false personal information to a police officer if the individual knowingly gives a false name, birth date, or address to a police officer with the intent of misleading him or her. It is a class C misdemeanor if the person gives random or made up information, and it is a class A misdemeanor if the person gives information with the intent of leading the police officer to believe that the person is another actual person. Often times a person will give a sibling’s name in hope of avoiding arrest or other trouble from a police officer.
Protect Your Rights if You Have Been Charged with Giving False Personal Information to a Police Officer
If you are questioned by police for any reason, remain silent unless you have a Utah criminal defense attorney by your side and only give your personal identifying information. If you have given false personal information to a police officer and are now being charged with that offense, contact a Utah criminal defense attorney from Salcido Law Firm. Our lawyers will fight hard to protect your rights and help you from making any more mistakes. Contact us for a consultation by calling 801.893.1787 today.