What starts out as a fun night on the town can end up being a permanent mark on your criminal record. When an underage person gets caught with a fake id, it is critical to take the charges seriously because there will be criminal consequences. This includes discussing the case with a skilled criminal attorney.
Using a fake identification card to buy cigarettes or alcohol or to get into bars and clubs is illegal under New Jersey law. Under https://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/criminal/charges/tamper5.pdf N.J.S.A. 2C:21-2.1(c) it is illegal to make, present or use any “record, document or thing knowing it to be false” and with the purpose that it be taken as genuine.
Sellers of tobacco and alcohol as well as owners of bars and restaurants face harsh penalties if it is determined that they are selling to minors. Because of the penalties they face, they tend to be extra vigilant for the use of fake identification cards. It is likely you will face criminal consequences if you are caught with a fake id.
Here are three facts about fake id charges:
- New Jersey typically considers the use of a fake id card to be a “disorderly persons” offense. Other crimes in this category include shoplifting, criminal mischief and disorderly conduct. In some cases, getting caught with a fake id or other document will lead to more serious charges. For example, if a person is thought to have tampered with a public record by presenting a fake document, he or she could be facing increased penalties.
- Under New Jersey law, the punishment for a disorderly persons crime can include:
- A fine up to $1,000
- Up to six months in county jail
- Community service
- Entry on permanent criminal record
- People caught with a fake id often face other charges from the same incident. For example, a person who uses a fake id at bar to buy an alcoholic drink could also be given a citation for underage drinking. These criminal consequences can add up and should be taken seriously.
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If you have been accused of using a fake id, you are advised to call a lawyer to discuss your case and the criminal consequences you are facing. It may be possible to get your charges reduced, but this option is only available if you contact a criminal defense lawyer quickly. Expungement, or the removal of charges from your criminal record, may also be available.