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False Statement in License Application

Motor Vehicle Crime Lawyer Helping Defendants in Boston

Falsifying information can result in serious criminal charges. It is illegal to make false statements in a license application in Massachusetts. A conviction can result in reputational harm, difficulty finding a job, difficulty going to college or graduate school, and difficulty securing housing. At the Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy, our Boston motor vehicle crime lawyer may be able to develop a strong strategy to defend you if you are charged with falsifying information.

Making a False Statement in a License Application

It is illegal to submit a driver's license application with false information on it. The prosecution must establish beyond a reasonable doubt that you applied for a driver's license, learner's permit, or state identification card in Massachusetts, that you made a false statement in your application, and that you knew that the statement was false when you made it.

The potential consequences depend on the intent and the type of false information that was provided. There are situations in which you may have accidentally submitted false information. An accidental error can be a basis for a strong defense, since instances in which mistakes were made are not supposed to be the basis for convictions. You must have "guilty knowledge" that you are making a false statement to be convicted. The law covers situations in which you know that you are lying because you are trying to obtain some benefit. For example, if you are underage and try to submit false information in order to buy alcohol, you could be charged. Similarly, if you submit a false name to buy a firearm because you have a criminal record and are not allowed to buy or carry a firearm, you could be convicted.

You should not assume that you will be convicted or quickly plead guilty. As with other crimes, the prosecution must prove every element beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a very tough burden. As noted above, in many cases, the prosecution is unable to show beyond a reasonable doubt that you had the requisite scienter, or state of mind, when making the false statement. In other cases, the information that you provided is not "false." Sometimes there are other applicable defenses, such as a mistake or a police procedural error, that can go into your defense. Sometimes this charge is brought along with or instead of other charges, such as perjury, OUI, possession of a fake ID, or driving on a suspended license. It may be possible for us to negotiate a plea deal so that you face a conviction only for the crime that is punished the least harshly.

If you are convicted for a first offense of making false statements when applying for a driver's license, a learner's permit, or registration of a motor vehicle, you can be punished with imprisonment of 30 days to two years, a $50 to $500 fine, or both. If you are convicted a second time for the same offense, you face the possibility of imprisonment for up to five years, a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 days to 2.5 years in a house of correction, a fine of up to $1,000, or a combination. Third or subsequent offenses can result in sentences that entail six months to 2.5 years in a house of correction, a fine of $200 to $1,000, or 2.5 years to five years in state prison, or both a fine and imprisonment.

People who are convicted may also face an automatic license suspension. This can be problematic for many people who rely on their driver's license to get to work or school. It may be possible to obtain a hardship license, but this is not always easy.

Retain a Knowledgeable Boston Attorney to Fight a Motor Vehicle Charge

If you are charged with making a false statement in a license application, you should retain an experienced Boston lawyer. While it may not seem like a big deal at the time, these charges are taken seriously, and they can affect the outcome of charges that are brought in the future as well. We can develop a strong strategy on your behalf. Call the Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy at (617) 367-0450 or contact us via our online form for a free appointment with a motor vehicle offense or OUI lawyer. Patrick Murphy also assists people fighting charges in Cambridge, Framingham, Lynn, Martha's Vineyard, Medford, Newton, Somerville, Taunton, and other areas of Middlesex, Suffolk, Essex, Barnstable, Hampden, Hampshire, Bristol, and Dukes Counties.

Client Reviews
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"Highly Recommended. Attorney Patrick J. Murphy absolutely helped me out in my time of need. When I met him in his Boston office he put me right at ease and explained the criminal process to me in a way I could easily understand and in a manner that gave me complete confidence. I was facing a criminal wanton destruction of property charge in Barnstable District Court. On the day of the case, he was at the courthouse waiting for me and my wife. Mr. Murphy handled the hearing in a very thorough and professional manner putting us through our testimony and making a powerful argument to the decision maker. My case was thrown out and I could not be happier with the service from Attorney Murphy. I highly recommend him to you as a skilled legal advocate!" Rob, Avvo User
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"Excellent Criminal Defense Lawyer. From the first consultation I knew Patrick Murphy was the right choice for my criminal defense. He was knowledgeable of the laws and knew how to build up a strong defense for my case. Every phone call and email I made was promptly answered. When it came time for my hearing, Patrick was prepared and able to get the criminal complaint against me dropped without ever becoming charge! Would highly recommend this attorney to anyone seeking a top quality defense attorney to handle their case!" John, Avvo User
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"OUI Not Guilty Verdict. Patrick Murphy provided excellent service as council on my case. He worked diligently over a long legal process that spanned over 3 years. He was able to take my case to a Jury Trial and get me a Not Guilty verdict through he expert knowledge of the law and expertise in cross examination of the prosecutions witnesses. He was very professional and available at anytime night or day to answer questions." Chris, Avvo User
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"Highly Skilled and Professional Lawyer. Attorney Pat Murphy did a great job guiding me through an A&B charge, and most importantly getting the case dismissed in a very timely manner. He is very professional, returns call promptly, and did a great explaining his strategy and the legal process to me. I was confident throughout the whole process that I was in good hands and would receive the best possible outcome in my case. Would highly recommended Attorney Murphy." Avvo User
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"I Felt That I was in Good Hands... and I Was! Mr. Patrick J. Murphy was very quick to respond to my needs. He was always there to answer any questions I had in a timely fashion, and he made me feel very comfortable in an extremely uncomfortable situation. Having Mr. Murphy by my side in the courtroom felt like I was at an advantage. He speaks with confidence. He doesn't stutter or pause while put on the spot. He treated me with respect. He listens. He always greeted me with a warm welcome and never wasted any time." Avvo User