What are the Punishments for Giving a False Name to a Police Officer in Virginia?

There is a misdemeanor and felony version of this type of crime in Virginia.

Specifically, under Virginia Code Section 19.2-82.1, “any person who falsely identifies himself to a law enforcement officer with the intent to deceive the law enforcement officer as to his real identity after being lawfully detained and after being requested to identify himself by a law enforcement officer, is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.”

This means that the crime of False Identity to Law Enforcement is punishable by up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of $2500.00.

However, signing a summons with a false name is a more serious charge and is a felony offense in Virginia.

Specifically, “if any person forges a public record…or attempts to employ as true, such record…knowing the same to be forged, he shall be guilty of a Class 4 felony.”

This means that Forgery of a Public Document is punishable by a term of not less than two years nor more than ten years and/or a fine of not more than $100,000.

The felony offense is most commonly charged when a person signs an incorrect name on a traffic summons. If a person signs multiple summonses, they can be charged with one felony count of Forgery of a Public Document per summons. (i.e. 8 summonses signed = 8 felony charges.)

If you find yourself charged with one of these offenses, be sure to consult with counsel before going to court.