As teenagers and college students, you may think that using a fake ID to get into a club or purchase alcohol isn't a big deal. Sure, you could get arrested, but the chance of spending time behind bars is minimal. Unfortunately, there is more to a fake ID conviction in Pennsylvania than you may think, and the consequences can be dire, especially for a college student with aspirations to succeed in his or her career.
Joseph D. Lento is an experienced and committed college student defense attorney representing clients in Chester County. Below, he provides an overview of just how serious using a fake ID in Chester County, Pennsylvania can be.
What are Fake IDs?
Fake IDs are any form of identification that is forged, altered, or stolen with the intention to establish an identity of a person. For example, fake IDs for students are often created using software on a computer and using a photo of the student. Fake IDs can be purchased from fellow students who run fake ID operations right on the campus or bought online from domestic or international sources. In fact, China has been the source of thousands of online fake D purchases.
Students use fake IDs to obtain alcohol from the nearby gas station or convenience store or to get into night clubs or other 21 and older establishments.
Where are Fake IDs Used in Chester County?
Fake IDs, when used by students in Chester County, are mostly used at stores selling alcohol, bars, night clubs, and other entertainment establishments that are near colleges and universities. These educational institutions include:
- Delaware County Community College in Marple Township
- Immaculata University near Philadelphia
- Lincoln University near Philadelphia
- Penn State Great Valley School of Graduate Professional Studies in Malvern
- University of Valley Forge in Phoenixville
- West Chester University in the Townships of West Chester, West Goshen, and East Bradford.
What Happens If Caught with a Fake ID in Chester County?
If you are caught using a fake ID in Chester County, you could be arrested and charged with possession of fake identification. This offense could be charged as a summary offense or a first-degree misdemeanor – it all depends on the circumstances and nature of the offense and arrest.
A conviction of a summary offense can lead to:
- up to 90 days in a county jail;
- up to $300 in fines; and
- suspended driver's license.
A conviction of a first-degree misdemeanor can lead to:
- prison between 2.5 and 5 years; and
- a fine of up to $10,000.
But these aren't the only consequences. You could face student disciplinary procedures at your school, which could result in suspension or expulsion or other forms of punishment. Apart from these penalties, there are the collateral consequences of a conviction that can have a deep impact on your future.
What are the Future Risks to a Fake ID Conviction in Chester County?
The risks for students facing criminal charges are serious in Chester County. If you are convicted of possession of a fake ID, you have a criminal record. This crime, too, is a crime of dishonesty, which can lead to further implications. Not only could you generally face problems finding a job, but you may be barred from some professions, like those in the financial sector. You could also face problems with obtaining a professional license or security clearance upon graduation. So, depending on the career you want, a conviction could seriously impact your future.
Further, if convicted, you may have to immediately report the conviction to providers of any loans, financial aid, scholarships, and/or internships. This will have a material impact on your higher educational experience.
Contact a Chester County Fake ID Defense Attorney Today
If you have been charged with possession of a fake ID in Chester County, you should know this charge is not something to ignore. The implications of a conviction are real and long-term. Contact Joseph D. Lento, experienced and trusted student defense attorney, today at 888-535-3686.