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California Penal Code § 114

Douglas Parker

California Penal Code 114 is a law that tackles the issue of false identity for immigration purposes. This law is vital for maintaining the integrity of legal residency in the United States. When someone violates this law, it means they are trying to conceal their true citizenship or resident alien status by using false documents. This is a severe crime and comes with heavy penalties.

Understanding this law is important because many people might get caught up in these charges without fully realizing the consequences. There are strict requirements and severe penalties for violating this law. It’s not just about getting fined; you could end up in prison for a long time. Knowing what California Penal Code 114 entails can help you navigate any legal issues related to this offense.

The penalties for violating this law are significant, and defending yourself against such charges can be hard. It’s important to get proper legal advice if you find yourself facing these charges. Understanding the key elements, penalties, and potential defenses is crucial for anyone involved in such a case. This article will help you understand these aspects better.

What Is the Penal Code 114 in California?

Penal Code 114 in California makes it a crime to use false documents to conceal your true citizenship or resident alien status. This law aims to protect the integrity of public records and prevent fraud related to immigration purposes. Violating this law is considered a very serious offense.

Key Elements of Penal Code 114

The key elements of Penal Code 114 include:

  1. False Documents: The person uses or provides a document that is not genuine.
  2. Intent to Conceal: The goal is to hide the person’s true citizenship or resident alien status.
  3. For Immigration Purposes: The false document is used for immigration processes or to secure certain benefits.

For example, if someone provides a fake passport or a counterfeit green card to authorities [1], they could be charged under Penal Code 114. The law is clear that the use of false documents for these purposes is illegal and comes with severe consequences.

What Are the Penalties for Violating 114 PC?

Violating California Penal Code Section 114 comes with harsh penalties. The law intends to deter people from using false documents to conceal their identity. Understanding these penalties [2] can help you see how serious this crime is.

  • Fines: You could face a fine of up to twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) if found guilty.
  • Imprisonment: You might also face up to five years in state prison. The severity of the punishment reflects the serious nature of the crime.

Besides the fines and prison time, other consequences can worsen your situation:

  • Felony Record: Being guilty of a felony can have long-lasting effects on your life. It can impact future job prospects [3] and your ability to secure housing.
  • Immigration Consequences: Violating section 114 can lead to deportation or other severe immigration penalties.

california penal code 114

Legal Defenses to Penal Code 114 Charges

If you’re facing charges under Penal Code 114, knowing your legal defenses is crucial. Various defenses can help you fight these charges and possibly avoid severe penalties.

  • Lack of Intent

One common defense is proving a lack of intent. If you can show that you did not intend to use false documents to conceal your true citizenship or resident alien status, you might avoid conviction. You must demonstrate that your actions were accidental or misunderstood.

  • Mistaken Identity

Another defense is mistaken identity. This can happen if you were falsely accused [4] or if someone else used your name or documents without permission. Proving that you are not the person who committed the crime can help clear your name.

  • Insufficient Evidence

The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you violated California Penal Code 114. If there is not enough evidence to support this claim, you could be found not guilty. Your attorney can work to identify any weaknesses in the prosecution’s case.

Seeking Legal Help for Penal Code 114 Charges

Facing charges under Penal Code 114 can be daunting, but getting the right legal help can make all the difference. Knowing what steps to take can put you in a better position to defend yourself.

Having a qualified criminal defense attorney is essential. An experienced lawyer knows the intricacies of the law and can guide you through the legal process. They can help you understand your rights, gather evidence, and build a strong defense.

Steps to Take When Charged

If you find yourself charged under California Penal Code 114, it’s crucial to act quickly. Here are some steps to take:

  1. Consult an Attorney: As soon as possible, get in touch with a criminal defense attorney who specializes in penal code violations.
  2. Gather Evidence: Collect any documents, messages, or other evidence that can support your case.
  3. Stay Informed: Make sure to understand the charges against you and the legal process that will follow.


Understanding California Penal Code 114 is crucial for anyone involved in immigration matters or legal documentation. The penalties for violating this law are severe, including large fines and possible imprisonment. Knowing the legal defenses available can help you prepare if you face such charges.

If you’re facing charges under California Penal Code 114, it’s vital to seek experienced legal help. Manshoory Law specializes in criminal defense and can provide the expertise and support you need. Contact Manshoory Law today to protect your rights and navigate the legal complexities of your case.


  1. Cal. Penal Code § 114. (n.d.).
  2. PC 114 Defense. Use of false documents for citizenship. Defense lawyers: Criminal defense attorneys. (n.d.). Criminal Defense.

  3. Manshoory, S. (2023, September 20). How to get a job with a criminal record in California? | Manshoory Law. Manshoory Law Group, APC.

  4. Manshoory, S. (2024, April 18). How to defend yourself against false accusations | Manshoory Law. Manshoory Law Group, APC.