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False Identification by Minors, "Faking Your Way Through It"

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Carrying a false ID is a crime that could land you in jail and cost you your driver's license.

By Attorney Elisabeth K.H. Pasqualini, Criminal Attorney, Harrisburg, PA

I started thinking about minors who use fake IDs when I wrote a blog post a few days ago about a woman who got caught using a stolen driver's license to order a margarita. Ironically, the woman was 26 years old and didn't need a fake or stolen ID to legally purchase alcohol. Nevertheless, that woman is now facing, among other charges, identity theft allegations.

Using a fake ID to purchase alcohol or enter an establishment that serves alcohol is a crime.  The Crimes Code in PA defines it as follows:

18 Pa.C.S. § 6310.3

(a) Offense defined. -- A person commits a summary offense for a first violation and a misdemeanor of the third degree for any subsequent violation if he, being under 21 years of age, possesses an identification card falsely identifying that person by name, age, date of birth or photograph as being 21 years of age or older or obtains or attempts to obtain liquor or malt or brewed beverages by using the identification card of another or by using an identification card that has not been lawfully issued to or in the name of that person who possesses the card.

Keep in mind that if you are caught using a fake ID to purchase alcohol, you could be facing a host of other charges, including loss of your driver's license. Depending on the circumstances of your particular case, underage possession of alcohol, public drunkenness, DUI, and/or disorderly conduct are just a few of the crimes you may be charged with. It is common practice for the police to charge you with as many offenses as possible. This gives the Commonwealth more leverage for bargaining in plea negotiations. Unfortunately, it places defendants in the unpleasant position of dealing with multiple charges for what they thought may have thought were minor transgressions.

There are some harsh consequences to possession of a fake ID. Fines and even jail time are both possibilities. If you are under 18, the police will call your parents. Furthermore, you will lose your driver's license for at least 90 days.

If you have been charged with possession or use of a fake ID, contact an experienced Harrisburg criminal law attorney. An aggressive attorney can challenge the evidence to try to win a dismissal or acquittal of the charges against you or negotiate a favorable plea to reduced charges.

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