Giving False Name Upon Arrest

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 268, Section 34A punishes those who knowingly and willfully provide a false name or hide their true identity from a police officer or law enforcement official following an arrest.

The penalty for the crime of Giving False Name Upon Arrest is imprisonment in the House of Corrections for up to 1 year and/or a fine of up to $1,000, and any restitution to the person whose identity has been assumed and who may have suffered any monetary loss as a result.  If sentenced to the House of Corrections upon a conviction for the crime of Giving False Name Upon Arrest, the sentence must be imposed 'from and after' any sentence imposed as a result of the underlying offense for which the person was arrested.

In order to be convicted of the crime of Giving False Name Upon Arrest, the prosecutor is required to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt:
  1. That the defendant was arrested;
  2. That the defendant then gave a false name to a police officer or a name that the person has assumed for a dishonest purpose; and
  3. That the defendant did so knowingly and willfully, i.e., that he/she intentionally gave the police officer a name that he/she had assumed for a dishonest purpose.
Although the law technically allows a person to change his/her name at will and without to resort to legal proceedings, it is unlawful to do so where the motive to changing the name is for a dishonest purpose.

For purposes of the crime of Giving False Name Upon Arrest, a 'dishonest purpose' may include circumstances to conceal one's criminal record to avoid being charged as a repeat offender; concealing one's criminal record to obtain more favorable bail consideration; concealing one's identity to avoid answering to an outstanding warrant; or creating a new identity in order to default and avoid prosecution on the charge for which one has been arrested.

If you have been charged with the crime of Giving False Name Upon Arrest, Boston Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis can help explain and defend your legal rights.

To schedule a Free Consultation and to discuss your criminal case with Attorney Lefteris K. Travayiakis, Contact Us Online or call 617-325-9500.