A criminal charge for having a fake ID is surprisingly serious because it is considered a crime of dishonesty. Students in the middle of their college courses or who are about to enter the workforce need to take extra precautions – these offenses put a dark blemish on their criminal background, which can be a huge professional setback.
Police Bust 254 Underage Drinkers in Fake ID Sting
Police apparently first received the call about underage drinking and students using fake IDs on the night of October 11, a Friday. The call came from the owners of a bar called Flip and Bailey's in Bryn Mawr, which is a town close to Philadelphia and where many students from local colleges, including Villanova University, Bryn Mawr College, and Haverford College, frequent because of the number of bars and nightlife options in the area. The owners said that they suspected that their ID scanners were being beaten by new and high-tech fake identifications.
More than a dozen police officers descended on the establishment, which was filled with nearly 300 patrons. When they entered and began asking everyone for their IDs, students and underage drinkers with fakes looked for a way out of the building. When they found police at every exit, they started throwing their IDs away, flushing them down the toilet, or just dropping them if they had a different name on them.
Police issued no fewer than 254 citations for carrying a fake identification and underage drinking.
While the call will likely hurt the owners' business, they were concerned about civil liability of serving underage drinkers, as well as criminal charges.
Carrying a Fake ID is a Surprisingly Serious Charge
Carrying a fake identification in order to get into a bar is a practice almost as old as college, itself. However, in Pennsylvania, it can lead to some serious criminal offenses that can set a college student back right as they try to enter the workforce.
Every aspect of fake IDs is prohibited by Pennsylvania law. Having one and using it to buy alcohol – which is the whole purpose for the vast majority of them – runs afoul of two state statutes:
- 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6310.3, which prohibits carrying a false ID
- 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6307, which outlaws misrepresenting your age when you buy alcohol
Because these offenses deal with misrepresentation, they are crimes of dishonesty. These offenses carry some serious collateral consequences of a conviction: Employers who see a prior offense of carrying or using a fake ID see it as an indication of untrustworthiness. Students can find themselves being rejected for choice internships because of a prior conviction for carrying a fake ID, while recent graduates can have a far more difficult job getting any kind of job that requires handling money or acting independently.
These repercussions are also felt if a student pleads guilty to a charge of having a false ID. First offenses are often a summary offense, so many students think that they can just pay the fine and move on (although a false ID charge in Pennsylvania is occasionally charged as a misdemeanor). They don't realize that paying the fine is an admission of guilt that puts the offense on their criminal record for five years.
Criminal Defense in Philadelphia With Joseph D. Lento
Hiring a criminal defense lawyer like Joseph D. Lento is crucial if you have been charged with carrying and using a fake ID. A defense attorney can work to limit the long-term fallout and protect your professional future. Contact him online or call his law office at (888) 535-3686.