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Name: People v. Guion
Case #: A132604
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 02/27/2013

Felony false personation requires proof of an act committed by the defendant, separate from the false identification, that might have caused the impersonated individual liability or provided a benefit to the defendant. Appellant was convicted of felony false personation (former Pen. Code, § 529, subd. (3)). According to the evidence presented at trial, following appellant’s involvement in a vehicle accident, an investigating officer arrived and asked for her identity and she provided various names. When the officer told her he was going to take her to the police station to confirm her identity, she offered to contact her son and have him bring her driver’s license to the location. The son subsequently arrived and provided a license issued in a name other than appellant’s. The individual whose name was on the license testified that her license had previously been stolen, she did not know appellant, and appellant did not have her permission to use her identity. Reversed. By its clear language, to obtain a conviction for section 529, subdivision (3), the prosecution must establish, in addition to the act of impersonation itself, an “act” which, had it been done by the person falsely personated, might have subjected that person to either a suit or some kind of debt or fine; or which benefitted the defendant or “any other person” in some way. The additional act must be more than offering an identifying document. (People v. Casarez (2012) 203 Cal.App.4th 1173, 1192.) Here, the evidence established that appellant only provided the driver’s license in a name other than her own, and no evidence was presented establishing the requisite additional act. Disagreeing with People v. Cole (1994) 23 Cal.App.4th 1672, 1676, the court found that Penal Code section 148.9, subdivision (a) (false identity to a peace officer) is not a lesser included offense of section 529, subdivision (3). The court reversed the section 529, subdivision (3) conviction without modifying the judgment to reflect a conviction for a violation of section 148.9.