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Fake ID and Related Violations in North Carolina
Throughout Charlotte and North Carolina, high school and college students have been using Fake IDs to buy alcohol or enter a bar for decades. Back in our day there were several forms of Fake IDs: a driver’s license obtained from a private vendor, a version of an underage person’s driver’s license that has been doctored to reflect an older age, a duplicate driver’s license from a relative or friend who resembles the underage person or an actual DMV issued driver’s license with the underage person’s picture but an older person’s name, address and birthdate. Today, as technology advances, underage persons can obtain a fake ID from an online vendor and do not have to beg their older cousin. Otherwise, not all that much has changed, people under the age of 21 are still trying to buy beer and get into bars using a Fake ID.
The attorneys of Browning & Long, PLLC frequently represent individuals accused of using a Fake ID to attempt to purchase alcohol or enter an establishment that serves alcohol. Although these charges seem insignificant, they can result in a criminal conviction and the revocation of your driver’s license. A criminal conviction for using a fake ID will appear on your criminal record and accordingly, will require that you inform employers and schools of your conviction. Our former Mecklenburg County Assistant District Attorneys can help you avoid a criminal conviction and other stiff penalties by negotiating with the District Attorney’s Office to allow you to enter a deferred prosecution program, or if necessary, take your case to trial.
Typically, Fake ID charges arise in the context of an underage person using a Fake ID to obtain alcohol or gain entry into a bar. Fake ID charges stemming from alcohol related activates are laid out in North Carolina G.S. 18B-302(e).
1. Unlawful Activity: Pursuant to North Carolina G.S. 18B-302(e) it is unlawful for any person to use a Fake ID, alerted driver’s license or any other fraudulent or alerted identification document to do any of the following:
1. enter or attempt to enter a place where alcoholic beverages are sold or consumed,
2. obtain or attempt to obtain alcoholic beverages, or
3. to obtain or attempt to obtain permission to purchase alcoholic beverages
2. Severity of the Crime: A violation of North Carolina G.S. 18B-302(e) is a class 1 misdemeanor and if convicted will result in the suspension of your driver’s license.
3. The Punishment:
1. Class 1 Misdemeanor: An individual convicted of a Class 1 Misdemeanor can face a maximum punishment of 120 days in Jail.
2. Loss of Driver’s License: If you are convicted of purchasing or attempting to purchase alcohol your driver’s license will be revoked for one year pursuant to G.S. 20-17.3.
Not all Fake ID charges, however, relate to purchasing alcohol or entering a bar. North Carolina G.S. 20-30(3) makes it a Class 2 misdemeanor to display or represent a driver’s license that is not issued to you. DMV may suspend a person’s driver’s license for up to a year if convicted under North Carolina G.S. 20-30(3). Charges under this statue typically arise when one gives a Fake ID to a law enforcement officer during a traffic stop or another encounter.
In North Carolina there are stiff penalties for allowing an underage person to use your driver’s license to consume, possess or purchase alcohol. Pursuant to North Carolina G.S.18B-302(f) it shall be unlawful for a person to permit another person to use their driver’s license of other identification document to purchase or attempt to purchase alcohol or enter or attempt to enter an establishment that serves alcohol. A violation of G.S. 18B-302(f) is a Class 1 misdemeanor and revokes of the offender’s driver’s license for one year.
Additionally, North Carolina G.S. 20-30(2) makes it a Class 2 misdemeanor to counterfeit, sell, lend to, or knowingly permit the use of a driver’s license by a person not entitled to its use. DMV may suspend a person’s license for up to one year for conviction of this offense.
1. Get Your Charge Dismissed: Oftentimes our attorneys can negotiate with the District Attorney to allow you to take a class for dismissal of your charge. Once your case is dismissed our attorneys can thoroughly review you case to determine if you are eligible to have your charge permanently expunged from your criminal record so employers or schools will never know you were charged with an underage drinking crime.
2. Take Your Case to Trial: If you are ineligible for the class our attorneys or not afraid to protect your rights in court. While Howard and Todd served as Mecklenburg County Assistant District Attorneys they prosecuted thousands of fake ID violations and know how to try these cases in the courtroom if necessary.
3. Allow You to Drive: If you are convicted of using a Fake ID under North Carolina G.S. 18B-302(e) your License will be suspended. Our Attorneys can get you a limited driving privilege to allow you to drive for work, school, household maintenance and medical purposes during the period of your suspension.
Although these charges seem trivial, if convicted, you face serious consequences. Our attorneys at Browning & Long, PLLC will thoroughly review your case and can help you avoid the potential serious consequences resulting from a conviction of a Fake ID related charge.
If you are facing criminal charges, you need to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Charlotte office directly at 980.207.3355 to schedule your free consultation.
Fake ID and Underage Drinking
Using a fake ID, such as a phony driver’s license, to buy alcohol or cigarettes, or to get into a bar, is falsification of a government document and could be charged as a crime of the fourth degree in New Jersey. A person convicted of a crime of the fourth degree may face up to 18 months in prison and be ordered to pay a fine of up to $10,000.
However, with an experienced New Jersey defense attorney by your side, using a phony ID is more likely to be charged as a disorderly persons offense — if you can show you used the fake ID only to obtain alcohol, tobacco or another product not legally sold to someone under the age of 21 or 18. A disorderly persons offense could result in a fine of up to $1,000.
Regardless of whether using a fake ID is tried as a fourth-degree offense or a disorderly persons charge, a conviction will result in loss of New Jersey driving privileges. The judge will have some discretion for suspending your driver’s license, but must do it for at least 6 months and no more than 2 years. If you are not yet 17 years old, the driver’s license suspension begins on your 17th birthday.
If you are represented by an attorney from the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, you have a strong chance of seeing a fake-ID charge against you dropped or reduced from a State of New Jersey criminal offense to a violation of a local municipal ordinance.
If you (or your underage child) have been charged with using a fake ID to buy alcohol or tobacco or to enter a bar in New Jersey, talk to a lawyer at one of the nine Jersey locations of the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall. We may be able to help you avoid losing money and privileges in court, and opportunities in the future.
Understanding Maryland Fake ID Laws
In most criminal cases the defendant pleads guilty or goes to trial; in rare cases, the case may be dismissed for some reason. In some cases, such as someone with no prior record being charged with possessing a fake ID, diversion may be an option. Diversion is a process typically involving the defendant entering into an agreement with the prosecutor where the defendant agrees to complete certain conditions in exchange for a dismissal or reduction of charges. In some Maryland fake ID cases, the prosecutor may offer diversion where the defendant agrees to take alcohol classes and/or complete community service in exchange for a dismissal.
Because diversion is not always offered, it’s important to consult an experienced Maryland fake ID lawyer if you or your child has been charged with a Maryland fake ID offense. While possession or use of a fake ID in Maryland is a misdemeanor, the consequences of any criminal conviction can be problematic for one’s future. A misdemeanor will appear on a criminal record and could be seen by future employers, renters, and higher education institutions. A qualified Maryland criminal lawyer can negotiate with the Assistant State’s Attorney to try and reach a diversion agreement. Ultimately, successful completion of diversion could also lead to eventually getting the arrest record expunged. Diversion is often an effective way to deal with a criminal charge because it’s the only option in the criminal justice system where the defendant has control over whether her charges get dismissed. The defendant can rest assured that if she completes the requirements of the agreement, in the end, the prosecutor will dismiss the case and charge.
Attorney Morgan Leigh is an aggressive Maryland criminal defense attorney who has experience defending criminal cases including fake ID cases in Maryland. She serves clients in Montgomery County, Prince George’s County and other surrounding counties. She has experience in both General District and Circuit Court. Some of the cities she covers include Bethesda, Rockville, Silver Spring, Takoma Park, Potomac, Germantown, Gaithersburg, Hyattsville, College Park, Fort Washington, Bowie, Oxon Hill, and Greenbelt, among others.
If you or a friend or loved one has been arrested and facing Maryland fake ID charges, contact attorney Morgan Leigh today for a full case evaluation. Hiring the right attorney can make all the difference when charged with a criminal offense. The stakes are too high to face this situation alone and unprepared.
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