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What happens if a person was charged with criminal impersonation when the actual crime committed was false personation?

Albany, NY |

My wife was pulled over and gave the officers her sisters name because she does not have a license. She did tell the officer her real name afterward and the officer gave her a ticket for criminal impersonation as well as driving without a license.

Attorney Answers 4

  1. The arrest charge does not matter. The DA will file the appropriate charges in court.

    I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me at (212) 577-9797 or via email at I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. The above answer is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.

  2. False impersonation is probably the more apt charge since it was designed for the very situation you describe. Criminal impersonation deals with impersonation of another individual for the purpose of deriving a fraudulent benefit. Your attorney might seek to persuade the prosecutor of the difference if s/he goes forward to entertain the charge, since often prosecutors, in plea bargaining, go down from the charged crime, not what the crime charged should be, unless defense counsel makes it clear that the defendant was overcharged in the first instance, i.e. one might get a better plea bargain.
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  3. I agree with Mr. Caviglia, this is a common occurrence and an unfortunate mistake people make when they panic. So get an experienced criminal defense attorney to work out a plea bargain, after presenting mitigating circumstances about your wife and you have a good chance of not ending up with a criminal record and paying a fine.

  4. False impersonation is a more apropriate charge. However, with the help of an experienced criminal attorney, it is possible that the charges can be pleaded down to a violation, but that may also depend on the circumstances surrounding her not having a license. Working in your favor is the fact that you told the truth afterwards. Find a local criminal attorney for this.

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