If you or your child has a conviction for manufacturing or selling a false identification card, you've probably already discovered that a criminal record can have serious consequences. That conviction can affect your child's future career and educational prospects, even if there were underage at the time. A juvenile conviction can keep your child from getting into college or graduate school or even keep them from pursuing a career in criminal justice or the military in some cases. Fortunately, Pennsylvania law offers a second chance, allowing qualifying people to clean up their records through expungement or sealing.
Expungement is often the most effective way to clean up a record, with the destruction of your child's arrest and court records. But Pennsylvania law only allows the expungement of criminal records in limited circumstances. If your child doesn't qualify to expunge their record, they may be able to seal it, limiting public access to the records under Pennsylvania's Clean Slate or Act 5 legislation.
Charges for Manufacturing or Selling a False ID Card
You could face charges for manufacturing or selling a fake ID without intending to do so. The statute states:
A person commits a misdemeanor of the second degree if he intentionally, knowingly or recklessly manufactures, makes, alters, sells or attempts to sell an identification card falsely representing the identity, birth date or age of another.
18 Pa. Stat. § 6310.2(a) (1988). You could end up “manufacturing” a false identification card if you try to change the birthdate on your ID or if you loan your ID to a friend for $5.
Penalties for Manufacturing or Selling a False ID in Pennsylvania
Manufacturing or selling a fake ID in Pennsylvania is a second-degree misdemeanor. A conviction for a second-degree misdemeanor is typically punishable with a fine of $500 to $5,000 and up to two years in prison. But if convicted of manufacturing or selling a false ID, Pennsylvania law imposes a mandatory fine of at least $1,000 for conviction of a first offense and a minimum of $2,500 for subsequent offenses. The court has no discretion to impose a lower fine for those 18 or over. The statute states:
In addition to any other penalty imposed pursuant to this title or any other statute, a person who is convicted of violating subsection (a) shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $1,000 for the first violation and a fine of not less than $2,500 for each subsequent violation. There shall be no authority in any court to impose on an offender any lesser sentence than the minimum sentence mandated by this subsection. In no case shall the sentence exceed the maximum sentence prescribed by law. No court shall have the authority to suspend any sentence as defined in this section.
18 Pa. Stat. § 6310.2(b) (1988). If convicted of manufacturing or selling a fake ID in Pennsylvania, you could face harsher penalties than most second-degree misdemeanors if you are an adult.
If you are a minor, the court may impose a $500 fine for a first conviction and a $1,000 fine for subsequent offenses. The statute states:
(c) Adjudication of delinquency.--In addition to any other disposition authorized by law, a person adjudicated delinquent under subsection (a) shall be ordered to pay a fine of $500 for the first adjudication of delinquency and a fine of $1,000 for each subsequent adjudication of delinquency.
Sealing Your Record for Manufacturing or Selling a False ID Through Clean Slate
In 2019, the Pennsylvania legislature passed new legislation that broadened access to sealing and expunging criminal records. Under the new Clean Slate legislation, the state will automatically seal qualifying criminal records after five to ten years. While these records will still exist, the public will no longer have easy access. You may qualify for Clean Slate sealing if:
- You have a summary offense conviction,
- You have a conviction for a second or third-degree misdemeanor,
- You have a conviction for an ungraded offense punishable by no more than two years in prison, or
- You don't have a conviction because of a dismissal or not guilty verdict.
With a second-degree misdemeanor conviction for manufacturing or selling false identification, the state will typically wait ten years after you complete your sentence and pay your fines before automatically sealing your records. If your conviction happened as a juvenile, the waiting period might vary. However, if you have a juvenile charge for manufacturing or selling a fake ID, you may be able to expunge your record, which destroys them rather than simply limiting public access.
You may qualify to expunge your juvenile record under Pennsylvania law if:
- It's been five years since you completed your sentence,
- You've had no other arrests or prosecutions in the last five years, or
- You had a juvenile fake ID conviction but are now over 18 and meet all the statutory requirements.
You must petition the court to expunge your record, and determining whether you qualify can be challenging. That's why you should consult attorney Joseph D. Lento and the skilled Criminal Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm.
Sealing Your Conviction for Manufacturing or Selling a Fake ID with an Act 5 Petition
Even if you don't qualify for automatic sealing under Clean Slate, you may qualify to seal your records under Act 5. This Pennsylvania law allows you to petition the court to seal your record and applies to a wide range of convictions than Clean Slate. You may qualify for an Act 5 sealing petition if:
- It's been ten years since you completed your sentence and paid your fines,
- You have not had any additional arrests or convictions for charges punishable by a year or more in jail, and
- Your conviction was for an ungraded offense or a misdemeanor punishable by no more than five years in prison.
Sealing a Juvenile Record for Manufacturing or Selling a Fake ID
If you have a second-degree misdemeanor juvenile conviction for manufacturing or selling false identification, you may qualify for Clean Slate's automatic sealing after ten years. However, you may also qualify to expunge your record if you are now 18.
You Need the Lento Law Firm Expungement and Sealing Team
If you or your child have a conviction for manufacturing or selling a fake ID, it may be time to clean up your criminal record. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the experienced Criminal Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm have been helping Pennsylvanians clean up their criminal records for years. Find out how they can help you. Call the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686 to schedule a consultation, or contact them online today.