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Name: People v. Bamberg
Case #: A120767
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 06/30/2009

The determination of whether evidence is false under Penal Code section 134 (preparing false evidence) turns on the purpose for which the evidence is offered and not whether the evidence itself is false. Appellant was cited for running a stop sign. He contested the ticket and at the court trial, he testified that there was no stop sign at the intersection and introduced photographs showing no stop sign. He asserted that the photographs were those of the intersection in question but they were actually those of an entirely different intersection, taken at an angle so as not to show the street sign identifying the intersection. The commissioner, having daily driven through the intersection in question on her way to work, was familiar with the location and, knowing that there was a stop sign at the location, found appellant guilty. Appellant was subsequently prosecuted and convicted under Penal Code section 134 for offering the photographs. The appellate court rejected appellant’s argument that the photographs were not false since they accurately depicted a different intersection. The plain language of the statute does not require that the material presented be altered, but instead focuses on the purpose for which the evidence is offered, which in this case was to deceive the traffic court judge.