Possession of Fake ID Lawyer in New Jersey
In recent years, the State of New Jersey has been really cracking down on underage drinking and the use of fake IDs, especially in trendy tourist areas. As part of the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control’s “Cops in Shops” program, thousands of people have been arrested for underage drinking and using fake IDs. This program aims to catch underage consumers in the act by helping municipalities place undercover police in bars and clubs.
For many people, the idea of fake ID charges may seem like no big deal, with perhaps just some community service or small fines to pay. However, the truth is: Using a fake ID can be a serious offense with long-lasting consequences.
If you get busted on a false ID charge, you should contact an experienced NJ criminal defense lawyer right away. Your rights and your future may depend on it. With years of experience working as both a criminal prosecutor and a defense attorney, Jason A. Volet understands the complex nuances of New Jersey’s strict fake ID laws. Call today to schedule a confidential and free meeting to discuss your situation.
Understanding New Jersey Fake ID Laws
In New Jersey, fake ID charges can be brought as either third-degree or fourth-degree crimes. There are a couple of different laws that need to be understood:
- First, there is a law called “Tampering with Public Records,” (See N.J.S.A. 2C:28-7). This law has to do with tampering with lawful IDs, such as trying to change or alter a legal identification card.
- On the other hand, if your ID was actually purchased online or manufactured as a fake ID, then you will likely be charged under N.J.S.A. 2C-21.2.1, which is a fourth-degree criminal offense. You will be charged with this crime if you are discovered trying to use a fake ID for any unlawful purpose, such as:
- Gaining entrance to a bar or club
- Purchasing alcoholic beverages or tobacco
- Consuming alcoholic beverages or tobacco
In fact, it’s even illegal to just possess or purchase a fake ID, even if you never use or intend to use it. Just having one in your possession is a crime. Keep in mind that once again we are talking about a truly “fake” identification, as opposed to a real ID that has been altered or used by the wrong individual. This is a different offense.
What Are the Punishments for Having or Using a Fake ID?
If convicted of having or using a fake ID, then you could face some very severe penalties. Your punishment could include:
- $1,000 fine
- Jail time or probation
- Community service
- Additional fines and penalties
Administrative Licensure Penalties
In addition to the criminal penalties, you could have your driver’s license suspended for a minimum of 6 months, up to as long as 2 years.
For younger offenders who don’t yet have their driver’s license, you could be forced to wait to apply for driving privileges.
Beyond all the costs and potential for jail time, perhaps some of the biggest concerns for a young offender could be the unexpected consequences. These may include:
- Denial of college applications
- Loss of college scholarship opportunities
- Limited employment opportunities (due to conviction or lack of driver’s license)
- Difficulty joining the military or being delayed in your enlistment
- Limited mobility and freedom (no license)
- Having a permanent criminal record
So much is at stake. Don’t give up and take a plea deal without first talking to a skilled New Jersey white-collar crime lawyer about your case. You may have more options than you realize.
What Does the Prosecution Have to Prove in a Fake ID Case?
Unfortunately for any youthful offender caught with a fake ID, a New Jersey prosecutor does not have to prove a lot to get a conviction. In many cases, falsified ID cards are immediately confiscated by bouncers and undercover officers. The fake ID itself is powerful evidence of guilt. All the prosecutor really needs to prove is that you possessed it and used it for an unlawful purpose.
Defenses for Charge of Fake ID
Despite how open and shut your case may seem, a knowledgeable New Jersey fake ID lawyer can help you explore all the options for fighting such a charge.
For instance, your attorney might be able to look at exactly how the police went about obtaining evidence to see whether any procedures or Constitutional rights were violated in the process of making the arrest.
Even if the government’s case is very strong, a skilled defense lawyer might be able to weaken the case enough to leverage a better deal, such as a lesser charge.
The key is not to give up without first talking to a lawyer. Definitely don’t talk to police or prosecutors without a skilled attorney at your side.
Why You Need a Lawyer When Facing a Fake ID Charge
At the end of the day, every criminal defendant deserves – and indeed has a constitutional right – to have a lawyer fighting for his or her rights. If you’ve been charged with a serious crime that could have lasting effects on your life, then you absolutely should not take any chances.
At the Law Office of Jason A. Volet, we offer hope to those charged with serious criminal offenses, including white-collar crimes like possession and use of a fake ID. No young person should have their whole life tossed upside down over a mistake or momentary lapse of judgment.
Our law office will compassionately listen and identify any strategic options we can deploy in order to minimize the impact of your charges. In some cases, we may even be able to get the charges against you dismissed. If necessary, we will fight for you in court.
With offices in Freehold and Neptune, we make it easy and convenient to get the help you need. Our dedicated fake ID lawyer will fight to protect your rights every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule a confidential and free consultation with an attorney, and find out what options you really have.