38-Year-Old Utah Woman Arrested After Impersonating 21-Year-Old Daughter in Traffic Stop

September 2, 2019 Updated: September 2, 2019

A 38-year-old Utah woman is accused of impersonating her 21-year-old daughter during a traffic stop, it was reported.

Heather Garcia, 38, was taken to Davis County Jail early on Sept. 1. She faces counts of providing false personal information to a peace officer after she allegedly lied to police about her identity to avoid being arrested for warrants out for her arrest, KUTV reported.

She was driving a silver BMV when police pulled Garcia over in Farmington. A police officer noticed that her vehicle didn’t have a license plate before initiating the traffic stop, the report noted.

Police then searched her car and found drug paraphernalia and a white powdery substance.

KUTV reported that she identified herself as “Mercedes” and said she was born in 1998. Police then realized that Garcia provided them with her daughter’s name before identifying her.

She was also charged with driving without insurance and driving with a revoked license. Police also charged her with drug possession, KJCT reported.

Providing false personal information to a police officer can result in serious consequences in Utah, said Utah-based law firm Intermountain Legal, P.C. on its website.

“It is illegal to mislead a peace officer as to your identity by knowingly giving the peace office a false name, birth date, or address,” it explains. “If you mislead a law enforcement officer in this manner you can be charged with a class C misdemeanor. If you are convicted of a class C misdemeanor the consequences can include a fine of up to $750 and up to 90 days in jail.”

“Second, it is illegal to mislead a peace officer as to your identity by telling them that you are another actual person,” the firm adds. “This crime consists of giving the peace officer someone else’s real name, birth date, or address. Utah considers this a more serious crime, so this type of false information to a peace officer can result in a class A misdemeanor. Class A misdemeanors are punishable by a fine of up to $2,500 and up to a year in jail.”

Davis County is Utah’s smallest county, and it is the third-largest by population, its website says. The county, which has 248,000 residents, is located north of Salt Lake City.

Other details about the case are not clear.

Crime in the US

Violent crime in the United States has fallen sharply over the past 25 years, according to both the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) and the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) (pdf).

The rate of violent crimes fell by 49 percent between 1993 and 2017, according to the FBI’s UCR, which only reflects crimes reported to the police.

The violent crime rate dropped by 74 percent between 1993 and 2017, according to the BJS’s NCVS, which takes into account both crimes that have been reported to the police and those that have not.

The FBI recently released preliminary data for 2018. According to the Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report, January to June 2018, violent crime rates in the United States dropped by 4.3 percent compared to the same six-month period in 2017.

While the overall rate of violent crime has seen a steady downward drop since its peak in the 1990s, there have been several upticks that bucked the trend. Between 2014 and 2016, the murder rate increased by more than 20 percent, to 5.4 per 100,000 residents, from 4.4, according to an Epoch Times analysis of FBI data. The last two-year period that the rate soared so quickly was between 1966 and 1968.