Fake IDs are used frequently in Delaware County – and it's not only students using them though in large part it is. So, you should know that fake IDs are a serious crime. They can lead to criminal convictions and the collateral consequences of a criminal record. You may think it's not a big deal, but it is.
Below is a brief overview of why fake ID use in Delaware County is serious. If you find yourself in a similar situation in Delaware County, contact experienced Pennsylvania college student defense attorney Joseph D. Lento today.
What are Fake IDs?
Fake IDs come in many different forms, specifically:
- forged IDs;
- altered IDs; and
- stolen IDs.
Forged IDs are fake IDs produced by persons other than a government agency. The intent is to establish a false identity of a person. These IDs use stolen identity information coupled with the picture of the person who will use the fraudulent ID. The ID is made to look legitimate using sophisticated software, and as technology advances, the barcodes on these forms of ID can also be encoded, making the fake ID harder to detect. Students can purchase these types of IDs online, and in many cases, there are fellow students who engage in such operations to make money on or off-campus.
Altered IDs are real IDs but part of the information has been modified. Students will use technology to try to change the date of birth on their IDs.
Stolen IDs are real IDs, too, but they have been stolen to be used by another person fraudulently. These are often used by persons who apply for housing (e.g., apartments) online or who undertake identity theft activities.
Where are Fake IDs Used in Delaware County?
Fake IDs are most often used at bars and other entertainment establishments in and around colleges and universities of Delaware County. These Pennsylvania colleges and universities include:
- Cabrini University
- Cheyney University of Pennsylvania
- Delaware County Community College
- Eastern University
- Haverford College
- Neumann University
- Penn State Brandywine
- Pennsylvania Institute of Technology
- Sleeper's College
- Swarthmore College
- Valley Forge Military Academy and College
- Villanova University
- Widener University
- Williamson College of the Trades.
What Happens If Caught with a Fake ID in Delaware County?
If you are caught with a fake ID in Delaware County, you will not receive a mere slap on the wrist. You will be arrested and charged with possession of false identification. A conviction of possession of a false ID as a summary offense carries a sentence of:
- up to 90 days in the county jail; and/or
- a fine of up to $300.
If the charge is filed under the Vehicle Code, then it will be charged as a first-degree misdemeanor. Penalties associated with a first-degree misdemeanor conviction include:
- 2.5 to 5 years in prison; and
- a fine of up to $10,000.
Though a first-degree misdemeanor is more significant with respect to the penalties, a conviction in either case leads to a criminal record, which carries its own penalties.
What are the Future Risks to a Fake ID Conviction in Delaware County?
A conviction means a criminal record. As a student facing criminal charges, this is significant, especially if you are pursuing a professional career. A criminal conviction may have to be disclosed to your employer or a potential employer. That can make getting or keeping a job difficult. Further, the crime itself is a crime of dishonesty, and that means you may have specific problems finding a job in the financial sector or other markets where honesty and trustworthiness are key components of the job.
As a student, a criminal conviction can also lead to student disciplinary action, which could result in suspension, expulsion, or other sanctions. You may have to disclose the conviction and the school disciplinary record to any providers of student aid, scholarships, or internships. You may also have to report it if transferring from one school to another school or applying for military or graduate school.
Contact a Delaware County Fake ID Defense Attorney Today
If you are a student and thought using a fake ID was harmless until you were arrested for the same, contact trusted student defense attorney Joseph D. Lento today at 888-535-3686.