What happens when someone under 21 carries a fake ID?

On Behalf of | Oct 8, 2020 | Alcohol-related Charges |

Young persons who procure a fake identification card may find themselves in legal troubles in Pennsylvania. Some sources make it easy for those under 21 to buy a fake ID. Unfortunately, these sellers also make it easy for young persons to find themselves with a criminal record.

Under Pennsylvania law, “carrying a false identification card” involves someone under the age of 21 presenting a fake card with false identifying information like name, age and address, typically to procure alcohol. Someone may also face charges when using another person’s legal identification for the same illicit purpose.

When caught at a liquor store or elsewhere, the proprietor or employees may call the police. Once the police arrive, a young person may soon discover the severity of their action.

Carrying a false identification card becomes a summary offense for a first offense and a misdemeanor of the third degree for any subsequent offenses. A summary offense is, in essence, a citation for a non-traffic offense.

A misdemeanor of the third degree is a minor criminal offense. Regardless, it is still an offense that remains on someone’s record for life, barring expungement. The process for expungements of misdemeanors in Pennsylvania requires staying out of trouble with the law for 10 years. Persons over 18 may potentially receive an expungement after five years of avoiding trouble. Expungements require a legal process that may be best handled by a criminal defense attorney.

Of course, the accused have rights, and violations of these rights may lead to motions to suppress evidence. A defense attorney may cite relevant criminal law statutes in court to this regard if appropriate. Ultimately, anyone facing criminal charges might find it beneficial to speak with an attorney.