Each year, my firm handles a number of underage drinking cases. Most cases are fairly straightforward and a minor simply got caught at a party or had too much to drink. However, the case gets significantly more complicated if the minor possesses a fake ID. The consequences for possessing false identification and using it to purchase alcohol make a case more complicated than one in which the minor simply gets caught drinking alcohol underage.
If a minor is caught with fake identification, uses a fake ID to buy or attempt to buy alcohol or verbally communicate to someone that they are 21 in an attempt to buy alcohol, he or she may be charged with one of two crimes: Misrepresentation of age to secure liquor or malt or brewed beverages and/or Carrying a false identification card. A first offense is typically punishable only by a fine. However, any subsequent offense can carry significant penalties and can include:
– $300 fine for a first offense
– $500 fine for a second or subsequent offense
– Up to 90 days in jail
– Loss of driving privileges for 90 days for the first offense, one year for a second offense and two years for a third.
If you or someone you know has been charged with one of the above crimes, it is important to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case. Depending on the facts of the case and your criminal history, a number of options may be available to you to resolve the matter.