By Sahar Adatia and Jimmy Singh.
An international student’s plan to trick Geelong Police with a false ID card from his home country of India turned into a miserable fail of epic proportions when he couldn’t remember the crucial detail of his supposed date of birth.
SBS News reports that Mohammad Usman, a mechanical engineering student at Deakin University, was initially caught by police when he was spotted driving at 100 km/hour in a 60 km/hour zone in Geelong.
After police noticed him running a red light, they followed the man and pulled him over.
Upon stopping, the student was asked to provide his driver licence.
However, Mr Usman instead produced an Indian driver licence with his photo and name appearing as Rajwant Singh.
Police then proceeded to ask Mr Usman for his date of birth, but the student was visibly stumped.
In an attempt to deflect the question, he simply responded by telling the officer to look at the card.
Police Discover Victorian Driver’s Licence After Asking Mr Usman to Produce Other Identification Documents
Unfortunately for Mr Usman, his streak of bad luck did not end there.
Police then requested the student to provide other documents to prove his identity, during which they discovered a driver licence from Victoria on him which recognised a different name.
Indeed, the Victorian driving licence verified his real identity, along with his real address.
Mr Usman was issued a notice to appear at a court in Geelong.
Mr Usman Fined $1300 and Licence Suspended for Six Months
During Mr Usman’s hearing, the court heard the student was distracted at the time due to the recent death of his grandfather.
“I was so depressed I didn’t realise I was going over the speed limit or going through a red light,” the student said.
However, the court noted that his actions “could have killed somebody”.
“This is a serious thing to be doing to be deceiving police the way you have, and to be driving the way you did.”
Mr Usman pleaded guilty to charges relating to the creation and use of the false driver licence.
He also pleaded guilty to speeding and running the traffic light.
He was fined a total of $1300 and his licence was suspended for six months.
Law on Unlawful Alteration or Use of Driver Licence in NSW
Section 51 of the Road Transport Act 2013 (NSW) prescribes a maximum fine of $2,200 for producing a driver licence that’s been altered in a way that’s calculated to deceive, such as in the case of the above example.
The same maximum penalty applies for altering a driver licence in a way that’s calculated to deceive, or to forge, fraudulently alter or use, or fraudulently lend, or allow another person to use, a driver licence.
Click here for an outline on identification fraud offences in NSW.
Do You Have to Produce Your Driver Licence if Requested by Police?
In NSW, so long as a police officer is in their execution of duty (under the Road Transport laws), and not carrying out some activity that’s illegal or outside of their police authority, as a motorist, you are required to produce your driver licence if you are asked to do so.
A police officer also has the power to ask you to disclose your name and your residential address.
It is against the law for a person to refuse or fail to comply, attracting a maximum penalty of $2,200 under section 175 Road Transport Act 2013 (NSW).
The same maximum penalty applies for stating a false name or address.
The above maximum penalties will only apply if the case is heard in court.
The police are able to issue a fine of $114 on-the-spot for any such offence. In which case the above maximum penalties won’t apply.
Facing a fraud charge or have a question? Call our friendly team to arrange a free consultation with one of our experienced criminal lawyers situated in Sydney today.