Young adults who try to purchase alcohol or gain access to bars with a fake ID need to understand that their actions have dire consequences.
In New Jersey, it is unlawful to possess, display, create, and/or sell a fake ID.
Each of these actions is a crime that is punishable by jail time and carries with it the stain of a criminal record that could ruin a juvenile’s future.
Displaying a False Document [N.J.S.A. 2C:21-2.1(c)]
The law refers to a “fake ID” of any kind as a “false document” or Identity Theft.
Under, N.J.S.A. 2C:21-2.1(c), it is unlawful to “exhibit, display, or utter” any document or writing that falsely represents a driver’s license, birth certificate, or other official document that can be used to misrepresent your age or other personal information used for identification.
Essentially, this law makes it a crime to use a fake ID for the purpose of misrepresenting your age or other personal information.
Displaying a false document is a third degree crime. If you are found guilty, you can face up to 5 years in jail and a fine of up to $15,000.
However, it is crucial to understand that this harsh penalty is not usually applicable in the juvenile context.
If you are a juvenile who used a fake ID to purchase alcohol or tobacco, see that section below.
Possessing a False Document [N.J.S.A. 2C:21-2.1(d)]
N.J.S.A. 2C:21-2.1(d) makes it a crime to possess any document or writing that falsely represent a driver’s license, birth certificate, or other official document that can be used to misrepresent your age or other personal information used for identification.
Put simply, this means it is a crime to have a fake ID in your possession. That’s right; just having it on you is a crime.
Possessing a fake ID is a fourth degree crime inNew Jersey. If convicted, you could face up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Again, however, this strict law is not applicable if you are a juvenile simply trying to purchase alcohol or tobacco.
Nevertheless, if you are a juvenile and convicted of either possessing or displaying a fake ID, your driver’s license will be suspended for no less than 6 months but no more than 2 years (in addition to the penalties explained in the section below).
According to N.J.S.A. 2C:21-2.1(e), if you are not yet old enough to drive (e.g. you are 16), this suspension will begin on the day you are eligible to start driving (i.e. your 17th birthday).
Juveniles With Fake IDs
When a juvenile possesses or displays a fake ID, he will almost always be charged with a disorderly persons offense.
The State of New Jersey finds it much worse for an adult to use a fake ID in order to further an unlawful objective (i.e. commercial fraud, misrepresentation, etc.) than for a youth to lie about his age for the purposes of getting access to alcohol or cigarettes.
Therefore, under most circumstances, when a juvenile is convicted of displaying or possessing a fake ID, he will only face a maximum fine of 6 months in prison, a fine of up to $1,000, and a mandatory suspension of his driver’s license.
Make sure to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help fight to keep your case in juvenile court in order to avoid the escalated penalties associated with adult, criminal court.
Making Fake IDs [N.J.S.A. 2C: 21-17.3 (a)]
It is also illegal to manufacture a false document.
Under N.J.S.A. 2C: 21-17.3 (a), it is a crime for you to distribute, manufacture, or possesses any item with the identifying information of another person with knowledge of facilitating fraud.
In other words, if you create a fake ID for the purpose of selling it to a person who you know is going to use it to misrepresent himself, you will be guilty of this crime.
In most cases this is a fourth degree crime. However, if you make 20 or more fake IDs or 5 or more fake IDs each containing different personal information, then you will be guilty of a third degree crime.
If a juvenile is caught doing this, he could be put in juvenile detention for up to 2 years.
Lastly, if you are caught making 50 or more fake IDs or 10 or more fake IDs using the personal information of 5 or more separate people, you will be guilty of a second degree crime.
A juvenile who is convicted of a second degree crime could face up to 3 years in juvenile detention.
Who Should You Contact?
If you, your child, or a loved one was charged with displaying, possessing, or manufacturing a fake ID inNew Jersey, contact Adam H. Rosenblum of The Rosenblum Law Firm today. Mr. Rosenblum is a skilled criminal defense attorney who has helped people in similar situations. He will defend your constitutional rights, fight to keep you out of jail, and do what he can to have your fake ID charges dismissed. E-mail or call him today at 888-815-3649.