Possession of a Fake ID
Many are unaware of the fact that possession of a fake ID crime is filed as a third-degree felony. While an arrest for possession is rare, there are other crimes punished under Florida’s fake ID laws. Criminal penalties can include thousands of dollars in fines and years spent in state prison. If you have been charged with a crime involving a fake ID, you are likely worried about the consequences that could follow a conviction. Sarasota underage crimes lawyer Erika Valcarcel knows all too well about the turmoil that can arise in these situations. With extensive experience as a prosecutor and a defender, she can anticipate the prosecution’s approach to these charges and will work to craft an effective defense strategy.
Call (941) 363-7900 today to see how your freedom can be protected.
Understanding Fake ID Crimes
According to Section 322.212 of Florida Statutes, fake ID crimes include making, selling, or possessing a false or inauthentic identification card. This crime is commonly committed by high school and college students under the age of 21. They believe that a fake ID will allow them to gain access to clubs, bars, and alcohol. Arrests are rare when an underage individual is caught with a fake ID. In most cases, the bouncer or manager of an establishment will confiscate the ID and ask the person to leave. Arrests are common, however, in situations where an individual refuses to leave or starts an altercation.
Most people are shocked to learn that crimes involving fake IDs are charged as felonies. After all, possessing a fake ID seems like a harmless, minor offense not warranting time spend behind bars. Unfortunately, Florida’s legislature decided to crack down on fake ID crimes years ago. The idea was that increasing criminal penalties would lead to a decrease in the production and distribution of fake IDs. Unfortunately, the law does not discriminate between possession and production. This has led to countless underage individuals being assigned permanent criminal records.
Penalties and Collateral Consequences
When an individual is charged with a fake ID crime, it may be possible to get a lesser sentence or diversion program thus avoiding a criminal record. In some cases, however, a conviction is unavoidable. This can lead to a permanent criminal record and harsh penalties. The consequences for fake ID crimes include, but are not limited to:
- A fine of up to $5,000
- Up to 5 years in prison or up to 5 years on probation
For college students, a criminal record can have devastating effects. Many institutions of higher learning conduct disciplinary hearings for students convicted of a crime. While the college may only issue a warning, it is possible to be punished with suspension, exclusion from sports, exclusion from campus events, and even expulsion. For those who are already in the workforce, it may be difficult to find a job once you are released. Most employers shy away from hiring people with criminal records.
Let Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. Protect Your Freedom
There are a number of defenses that a skilled lawyer can use to get your charges reduced or wiped out in court. One effective strategy is claiming that the ID did not belong to you or that it had been planted by someone else. It might also be the case that you are a victim of mistaken identity. Bars and clubs can be hectic, and it is entirely possible that you were mistaken for the true perpetrator and arrested by police.
Being charged with a fake ID crime can be life-altering. From ruined educational opportunities to having a criminal record, there is no area left unaffected. With Sarasota underage crimes lawyer Erika Valcarcel, you can rest assured you’ll receive the best possible defense under the law. Attorney Valcarcel believes that the key to an excellent defense lies in getting to know you and understanding your side of the story. Once all of the details have been gathered, your case can be presented in the best possible light.