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Name: People v. Stacy
Case #: C060673
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 04/14/2010
Summary

There was sufficient evidence to support the crime of false personation. (Pen. Code, § 529.) When police stopped appellant for a suspected DUI, she identified herself as Amber Skorbecky, gave a birth date of April 2, 1984, and said she had no picture identification. On the way to jail, she provided the same information to another officer, and also gave him a mailing address, middle name, and driver’s license number. After a records check, it was discovered the middle name and birth date did not match Amber’s. Photographs and fingerprints from the state database also showed she was not Amber. After being confronted with this evidence, appellant admitted she lied about her identity because she had an outstanding warrant for her arrest. She told the officer that Amber was her cousin. After being convicted of false personation, appellant alleged insufficient evidence to uphold the conviction because it was not proven that 1) Amber was a real person; 2) Amber might become liable or lose a benefit based on appellant’s actions; 3) appellant made an additional act, as the statute requires; and 4) because the corpus delicti rule was not satisfied. The court found ample evidence Amber was a real person, namely confirmation of her driver’s license number, her photo in the “Cal Photo” database, and appellant’s statement that Amber was her cousin. It was also possible that Amber might suffer liability from appellant’s acts because had police believed her, Amber could have been prosecuted and punished for DUI. As to the “additional act” required by the statute, this too was satisfied. While the statute requires something beyond, or compounding, the initial report of false information, here appellant refused to complete chemical testing, which put the impersonated individual at risk of liability for additional Vehicle Code violations. Finally, the court found the corpus deliciti rule was not violated because, in addition to appellant’s extrajudicial statements, there was other evidence of the crime, namely fingerprint and photographic evidence showing appellant was not the person she claimed.