With Spring break around the corner, many teenagers will be flooding the streets of Tampa and surrounding beaches trying to use their ID’s to get into bars. Did you know that by using a fake ID you could be charged with a 3rd degree felony and face a maximum penalty of five years in prison? Very serious stuff. A felony conviction will have a huge impact on your future and will surely follow you wherever your life takes you.
A recent ABC news poll estimates that approximately 70 percent of college students used a fake ID at some point in 2014. This fact is not surprising seeing as fake ID’s can be purchased online for anywhere between $30.00 and $200.00, or passed down by siblings and friends. Buyers beware though, cops have recently used fake websites to catch underage kids trying to purchase an illegal form of identification.
Those that knowingly sell, manufacture or deliver a form of fake identification can also face third degree felony charges. Simply lending a license to a friend or relative can result in a second degree misdemeanor, which is punishable by 60 days in jail and a $500.00 fine. Both parties can have their license suspended for up to one year by the DMV if caught. By using someone else’s license or identification card, you could face second degree misdemeanor charges as well, up to 60 days in jail and a $500.00 fine.
Lastly, if you use a fake form of identification when identifying yourself to a police officer you can be charged with a first degree misdemeanor, which can be punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a $1,000.00 fine.
Often times, a pre-trial diversion program or probation are used as an alternative to jail in cases involving fake ID charges. Typically, if the diversion program is successfully completed, the charge(s) will be dismissed. Once the case has been dismissed, a lawyer can be hired to expunge the charges.
Those who are charged with a fake ID have a lot to lose by having a criminal record, especially if the charge is a felony. Think twice and I’m sure you will realize that having a drink is not as important as your future.
For help with any legal matters involving fake ID’s or underage drinking, please don’t hesitate to consult with criminal attorney John Castro. There is no charge for an initial criminal consultation.