Going to college is always an exciting experience for most teenagers and students. It's their first time away from home. They have this new freedom they never experienced before. Navigating this time in their lives can be both exhilarating and confusing. For many students in Montgomery County, it's also their first real confrontation with alcohol. Being in an environment where you are with students who are 21 years or old and, as such, legally allowed to drink alcohol, can lead to tempting situations. You may consider a fake ID so that you can participate in parties or nights out on the town like older fellow students.
Joseph D. Lento, an experienced and trusted college student defense attorney, explains below just how serious and consequential obtaining a fake ID can be for students. It's not at all a slap on the wrist, but sustained implications that can affect your future.
What are Fake IDs?
Fake IDs are forms of identification created or obtained by altering, forging, or stealing an identity for fraudulent purposes.
Sometimes the purpose is to buy things fraudulently online or engaging in other fraudulent activities, but when it comes to students, the primary purpose is to use a fake ID to purchase alcohol or get into clubs.
Where are Fake IDs Used in Montgomery County?
Fake IDs can be used pretty much anywhere in Montgomery County where an ID is required. When it's a student using the fake ID, it's mostly used at local convenience stores to purchase alcohol or local bars and other entertainment establishments to either get in or to buy alcohol inside the club.
These stores and clubs are most often located in or near the following college and university campuses:
- the American College of Financial Services
- Arcadia University
- Bryn Athyn College
- Bryn Mawr College
- Gratz College
- Harcum College
- Manor College
- Montgomery County Community College
- Penn State Abington
- Pennsylvania School of Horticulture for Women
- Rosemont College
- Saint Joseph's University
- Salus University
- Temple University Ambler
- Ursinus College
What Happens If Caught with a Fake ID in Montgomery County?
When you are caught with a fake ID in Montgomery County, you can face two procedures that put your future at risk: student disciplinary action at your school and a criminal procedure.
Disciplinary action can lead to suspension or expulsion from your school – depending on the school's respective policies. Other sanctions could be imposed, too.
As for the criminal process, the prosecutor can file the fake ID charge as a summary offense or a misdemeanor in the first degree.
A conviction of a summary offense can result in the following punishment:
- up to 90 days in the county jail; and/or
- up to $300 in fines.
A conviction of a first-degree misdemeanor can result in the following punishment:
- between 2 1/2 and 5 years in prison; and/or
- a fine of up to $10,000.
Though the difference between the punishment is significant, there's one thing that can produce the same consequences: a criminal record. As a crime of dishonesty, this offense looks particularly bad on a criminal record and can create specific and general challenges for you in the short- and long-term.
What are the Future Risks to a Fake ID Conviction in Montgomery County?
The future risks of students facing criminal charges are consequences collateral to a criminal record. These include the potential requirement to inform any provider of loans, financial aid, scholarships, and/or internships of the conviction or disciplinary action.
Plus, when you start searching for a job or housing, you could face challenges due to the criminal record. As a crime of dishonesty, you may also be barred from working in certain jobs in the financial sector. You can also expect potential roadblocks when applying for a professional license or security clearance. In general, too, a criminal record can make getting a job – any job – more difficult. It can also make finding housing on or off campus difficult.
Contact a Montgomery County Fake ID Defense Attorney Today
If you have been charged with possession of a fake ID, contact Joseph D. Lento today at 888-535-3686. He provides comprehensive and aggressive defense for students because he understands how a conviction can detrimentally impact your future. He doesn't want doors to be closed to you when you are at an age you are just beginning to open them.