Using a False Name
• The giving of a false name is a form of flight and thus evidence of consciousness of guilt.
See Rogers v. State, 315 N.E.2d 707, 712 (Ind. 1974)(citing Meredith v. State, 214 N.E.2d 385, 386-87 (Ind. 1966))(“The [social security] card was in the name of another person. Assumption of a false name is a form of flight and is therefore relevant as indicative of a consciousness of guilt.”)
See also Reno v. State, 228 N.E.2d 14, 16 (Ind. 1967)(quoting State v. Trophy, 28 N.E.2d 70, 72 (Ind. 1940))(emphasis added)(“Concerning the false answers, the following . . . is applicable: ‘Flight of the accused, concealment, assumption of a false name, and related conduct are admissible as evidence of consciousness of guilt, and thus of guilt itself, but it is for the jury to determine what weight and value should be given to such evidence.’”)
• It is clear that, if the giving of a false name is to be considered flight, the weight of the evidence is slight, and the way in which the defendant “fled” should be juxtaposed with the crime with which the defendant is charged.
• It appears to this court that the giving of a false name as evidence of flight is only of significant probative value when the act actually assists the defendant in avoiding arrest, i.e., it constitutes avoidance of arrest.
• For information about flight as circumstantial evidence of consciousness of guilt, please review Flight.
• For information about avoiding arrest as circumstantial evidence of consciousness of guilt, please review Resisting or Avoiding Arrest.