Laws governing fake IDs in Pennsylvania are not to be taken lightly. Nowadays, most young adults think they can get away with using fake IDs as many have a high enough quality to be scanned by barcode readers. Although underage adolescents mostly use fake IDs to purchase alcohol or cigarettes, the consequences of doing so are much more severe than you may think. They usually don't end with a Northampton County police officer only confiscating it and contacting the young adult's parents or guardians.
Punishments for young adults possessing a fake ID will not only lead to fines, community service, and possibly even jail time. Convictions establish a criminal record that impacts their ability to apply for college, secure a high-paying job, and even hinder their eligibility requirements for loans. Moreover, the manufacture and sale of fake IDs are treated with severity.
If your child has been charged with breaking fake ID laws in Northampton County, you need to contact an experienced and skilled attorney who can help you defend the allegations immediately. You don't want to stand idly while your child can't mount an adequate defense, leaving them behind in life and forced to repair their reputation for years to come.
What Is a Fake ID?
Only valid IDs are issued to a specific person by the state of Pennsylvania or the federal government based on truthful information supported by official documentation presented by that person. Violations pertaining to fake IDs come in many forms. Some examples of situations that constitute breaking the law include:
- Manufacture, sale, or possession of a fake ID
- Altering your or someone else's ID
- Presenting an ID that was not issued to you
- Using an expired ID
- Falsifying information to obtain a government-issued ID
- Presenting a fake ID to a law enforcement authority figure
Pennsylvania Fake ID Laws
The Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes (C.S.) is the official statutory code established by the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Within this complex body of laws governing the state is Section 18, which details crimes and offenses.
- False Identification to Law Enforcement Authorities: Section 4914 of Title 18 states that it is unlawful for a person to furnish "law enforcement authorities with false information about [their] identity after being informed by a law enforcement officer who is in uniform or who has identified himself as a law enforcement officer that the person is the subject of an official investigation of a violation of law." An offense under this section is a third-degree misdemeanor.
- Manufacture or Sale of False Identification Card: Section 6310.2 of Title 18 states a person may not "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." Under this section, a person may be charged with a second-degree summary offense.
- Carrying a False Identification Card: Section 6310.3 of Title 18 prohibits those under 21 from using someone else's ID or a fabricated ID to buy alcohol. Violating this law is considered a summary offense.
Pennsylvania Fake ID Law Penalties
Summary offenses, also known as non-traffic citations, carry penalties for people charged with a fake ID. You may think a summary offense is nothing to worry about, but the maximum penalty is 90 days in jail and the crime tarnishing your record.
A violation under Section 6310.3, the offender can be levied a fine of up to $500. Under Section 6310.2, a first-time offense will carry up to a $1,000 fine, and additional violations of Section 6310.2 will result in fines of no less than $2,500. Infractions handled under Section 4914 carry with them much more stringent penalties. A third-degree misdemeanor in Pennsylvania can result in up to one year in jail, including expensive fines.
Furthermore, Pennsylvania courts hand down mandatory suspensions of driver's licenses for carrying a fake ID.
College Code of Conduct Violations With Fake IDs
In addition to law enforcement officials, knowingly providing false information to college officials, resident advisers, or authorized agents of a college or university violates the college's code of conduct. At Northampton County's Lafayette College, a student found responsible for violating the Student Code of Conduct may receive a range of possible punishments, including suspension or expulsion. The instance will also be noted on the student's official record.
Students may also be charged with using fake IDs to assist another student cheat on exams or classwork. The penalties are severe with this type of academic misconduct, and students are likely to lose their federal loan eligibility and private scholarships, including opportunities for internships through the school.
Defending Against Fake ID Charges in Northampton County
Even though the laws on fake IDs may appear straightforward, an experienced attorney understands when and where particular defenses can be leveraged to help the accused maintain their innocence. For instance, under Section 6310.2, the law requires intent or recklessness to be proven. If your child is accused of breaking this fake ID law, your attorney may be able to assert that your child acted neither intentionally, knowingly, nor recklessly.
If your child is charged under Section 6310.3 for carrying a fake ID, Section 1520, Title 42 of the Pennsylvania C.S. allows a pre-adjudication disposition. Your attorney can negotiate for your child not to plead guilty to the offense and have another means of redress.
Alternate sanctions can include:
- Community service
- Job training
- Educational program
- Self-improvement courses
Additionally, if your child is alleged to have committed an offense under Section 4914, an experienced attorney can assert that your child didn't know the person asking you for information was a law enforcement official. The authority figure may not have officially identified themselves, and your child was only trying to protect themselves from a potentially harmful situation.
Reasonable people can make mistakes at the moment. There's no reason to let it cause you or your child legal trouble that can have long-lasting consequences. If any of these situations have happened to you or someone you love, call Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686 right away or visit the online consultation form.
How Can a Fake ID Charge in Northampton County Affect Your Child's Future?
Any violation and conviction of laws prohibiting fake IDs and their use will lead to the beginning or continuation of a criminal record. Although you may think being charged for using, possessing, or fabricating a fake ID is no big deal, the consequences can hang over you for a long time. Employers, schools, the U.S. military, Pennsylvania National Guard, and any other organization that provides excellent opportunities to young adults will regard a fake ID charge as a reflection of poor judgment and impropriety defined by dishonesty. Even if the Pennsylvania criminal justice system eventually drops the charges, the information will remain on your criminal record, which a criminal background check will reveal.
Job opportunities that require a criminal background check include, but are not limited to:
- Childcare and education employees such as daycare workers, teachers, and coaches
- Healthcare workers like nurses, doctors, therapists, paramedics
- Financial service employees like financial advisors, credit analysts, stock traders, mortgage processors
- Government workers such as police officers, firefighters, city bus drivers, municipal department staff
Most young adults don't realize that a mistake they made years ago when they were much younger can still appear on background checks for school, employment, and other opportunities. Young adults with charges or convictions on their record may need to explore expungement options with an experienced Pennsylvania attorney to protect their reputation. Although expungement may be helpful, the best approach is to defend yourself with the help of an attorney from the start.
Begin Working With a Northampton County Fake ID Defense Attorney
If you or someone you love has been accused of possessing, manufacturing, or selling fake IDs in Northampton County, you need to respond immediately. Being proactive and contacting a successful Fake ID defense attorney like Joseph D. Lento will ensure a better chance of mounting a defense that will procure your record and future opportunities. Developing an early defense strategy is the most critical facet in facing a situation that can cause harmful, long-lasting repercussions.
Joseph D. Lento and his team and the Lento Law Firm understand that presenting a skilled defense of fake ID accusations consists of multiple components. Attorney Lento understands the law in Northampton County. He's not only skilled in defending the accused before the Pennsylvania state authorities but a proven student defense attorney who knows how to communicate with your school's disciplinary board to negotiate a more positive outcome. To learn how Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm can help mitigate the impacts of fake ID accusations in Northampton County against you or your child, call 888-535-3686 now, or visit the online consultation form.