New York Criminal Impersonation and False Personation

New York Criminal Impersonation and False Personation charges are codifies in Section 190 of the New York Penal Law. This section contains many of New York’s criminal fraud statutes. New York Criminal Personation and False Personation charges apply to:

  • Giving a false name, date of birth, or address to a police officer after being warned of the consequences;
  • Assuming the identity of another individual to obtain a benefit, or injure or defraud another;
  • Pretending to be a police officer with intent to induce another to submit to the perceived law enforcement authority;
  • Pretending to be a physician and communicating a prescription to a pharmacist.

New York Criminal Impersonation Charges

Under New York Law, there are three different Criminal Impersonation charges. Specifically they are:

The difference in these charges is explained below.

False Personation 

The least serious of impersonation charges is the charge of False Personation, which is codified in New York Penal Law Section 190.23. Under New York Penal Law 190.23, a person is guilty of false personation when:

  • After being informed of the consequences,
  • S/he knowingly misrepresents his or her actual name, date of birth or address to a police officer or a peace officer,
  • With intent to prevent such police officer or peace officer from ascertaining such information.

The false personation charge is frequently charged when an individual doesn’t have identification on them and provides a false name to a police officer.

Penalties and Sentencing for False Personation

 The charge of False Personation is a Class B misdemeanor. As such, this charge is punishable by:

  • Up to 90 days in jail;
  • Time served (even if time served is very minimal i.e. a few hours);
  • Conditional Discharge (with conditions imposed by the court such as community service);
  • Unconditional Discharge (no sentencing conditions imposed by the court);
  • Probation.

New York Criminal Impersonation in the Second Degree

New York Criminal Impersonation charge is codified in Penal Law Section 190.25. Under New York Penal Law Section 190.25, a person is guilty of Criminal Impersonation in the Second Degree when s/he:

  1. Impersonates another and does so with intent to obtain a benefit, or to injure or defraud another; OR
  2. Pretends to be a representative of some person or organization and does so with intent to obtain a benefit or to injure or defraud another; OR
  3. (a) Pretends to be a public servant, or wears or displays without authority any uniform, badge, or insignia, or falsely expresses by his words or actions that he is a public servant or is acting with approval or authority of a public agency or department; AND (b) does so with intent to induce another to submit to such pretended official authority, to solicit funds or to otherwise cause another to rely on that pretense.
  4. Impersonates another by communication by internet or by other electronic means with intent to obtain a benefit, or injure or defraud another, or by such communication pretends to be a public servant in order to induce another to submit to such authority or act in reliance on such pretense.

Penalties and Sentencing for Criminal Impersonation in the Second Degree

Criminal Impersonation in the Second Degree is a Class A misdemeanor. As such, this charge is punishable by:

  • Up to 1 year in prison;
  • Time served (even if time served is minimal);
  • Conditional discharge;
  • Unconditional discharge; OR
  • Probation.

New York Criminal Impersonation in the First Degree

New York Criminal Impersonation in the First Degree charge is codified in New York Penal Law Section 190.26. Under Penal Law Section 190.26, a person is guilty of Criminal Impersonation in the First Degree when s/he:

  1. Pretends to be a police officer or a federal law enforcement officer, OR wears or displays without authority, any uniform, badge or other insignia, OR expresses by his or her words or actions that he or she is acting with the approval or authority of any police department or acting as a federal law enforcement officer with the approval of any agency that employs federal law enforcement officers; AND
  2. So acts with intent to induce another to submit to such pretended official authority or otherwise to act in reliance upon said pretense AND in the course of such pretense commits or attempts to commit a felony; OR
  3. Pretending to be a duly licensed physician or another person authorized to issue prescriptions for any drug or any instrument or device used in the taking or administering of drugs for which a prescription is required by law, communicates to a pharmacist an oral prescription which is required to be reduced to writing under New York Public Health Law.

Sentencing and Penalties for Criminal Impersonation in the First Degree

Criminal Impersonation in the First Degree is a Class “E” Non-violent Felony. As such, this charge is punishable by:

  • An indeterminate sentence up to 1 1/3 to 4 years in jail;
  • A determinate sentence of 1 year jail or less;
  • A split sentence (up to 6 months jail, rest of the time on probation);
  • Conditional Discharge (with conditions set by the Court);
  • Unconditional discharge (no conditions imposed as part of the sentence); OR
  • Probation.

Collateral Consequences of New York Criminal Impersonation or False Personation

New York Criminal Impersonation or False Personation charges can result in a permanent criminal record. Although you can apply to seal your conviction in the future under Criminal Procedure Law Section 160.59, you have to wait at least 10 years from your sentencing to do so. Additionally, convictions for False Personation or Criminal Impersonation may lead to issues with your professional license, such as a nursing license or a realtor’s license. Furthermore, a conviction for these crimes will likely be deemed a crime of moral turpitude for immigration purposes, and thus may result in inability to stay in the United States, or in denial of naturalization.

It is essential that you retain an experienced criminal defense attorney to thoroughly investigate your case and figure out a way to minimize if not eliminate any collateral consequences of your criminal impersonation of false personation arrest.

Contact Top Rated Criminal Impersonation Defense Attorneys

If you have been charged with New York Criminal Impersonation of False Personation charges, you need experienced and top rated counsel by your side. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.