Fake ID and Underage Drinking in New Jersey
Fake ID and Underage Drinking in New Jersey
Using a fake ID to buy and drink alcohol while underage in New Jersey is a crime. If you get convicted, you will likely be fined and could potentially be put in jail. You will also lose your driver’s license for a minimum of 6 months. Even worse, when you apply for a job, a college loan or scholarship, your conviction will appear on your record as a sign of dishonesty and a willingness to break the rules.
If you’re facing charges of using a fake ID and/or underage drinking in New Jersey, you need a defense attorney experienced in N.J. municipal and county courts to keep a poor decision off of your record. A defense attorney from Spodek Law Group can help you out.
We have former New Jersey prosecutors and public defenders on our team. We boast decades of combined experience with cases in courtrooms across the state.
Our defense attorneys maintain the local contacts necessary to negotiate a downgrade of the criminal charges to a municipal offense so that you can avoid a criminal conviction. A violation of a municipal ordinance can cost you in fines, but does not constitute a criminal offense in New Jersey.
Act fast for us to minimize the risk you face for a criminal charge of underage drinking or possession of alcohol, and/or possessing a false ID.
What Happens When You Get Caught with a Fake ID in New Jersey?
Using a fake ID, like a phony driver’s license, to purchase alcohol or cigarettes, or to get into a bar, is falsification of a government document and could be charged as an offense of the fourth degree in New Jersey. A person convicted of an offense of the fourth degree may face up to 18 months in prison and be ordered to pay a fine of as much as $10,000.
On the other hand, with an experienced New Jersey defense attorney on your team, using a phony ID is more likely to be charged as a disorderly persons offense. If you can demonstrate you used the fake ID only to obtain alcohol, tobacco or another product not legally sold to someone under the age of 21 or 18, this is possible. A disorderly persons offense could result in a fine of up to $1,000.
Nevertheless, whether using a fake ID is tried as a fourth-degree offense or a disorderly persons charge, a conviction will result in loss of New Jersey driving privileges. The judge will exercise some discretion for suspending your driver’s license, but he or she must do it for at least 6 months and no more than 2 years. If you are not 17 years old as yet, the driver’s license suspension begins on your 17th birthday.
If you are represented by an lawyer from Spodek Law Group, you give yourself a strong possibility of seeing a fake-ID charge against you dropped or reduced from a State of New Jersey criminal offense to a violation of a local municipal ordinance.
What Is the Penalty for Drinking Under the Age of 21 in New Jersey?
Typically, when we help our clients with false ID charges, they have are also facing charges of underage possession of alcohol and/or underage drinking.
The legal age for drinking alcohol in New Jersey is 21 years old, just as in every other U.S. state and Washington, D.C. In the state of New Jersey, violating the underage drinking laws in public is a disorderly persons offense, which can be punished by a fine of at least $500.
Possible Defenses for Fake ID and Underage Drinking Charges in New Jersey
There are numerous reasons charges for underage alcohol possession or possession of a fake ID may be reduced to a municipal ordinance violation, which does not result in a criminal record, or dismissed altogether. The prosecution must demonstrate any charges beyond a reasonable doubt, which we can make sure is not an easy task.
Issues we would be able to raise as we defend you from underage alcohol possession and/or fake ID charges include but are not limited to:
- Proof of possession. Can the prosecutor demonstrate the alcohol or phony ID was legally in your possession?
- Mistaken identity. Might there have been some confusion at the time of arrest, such as at a party or a crowded bar or street, which led to you being arrested simply for being at the wrong place at the wrong time?
- Could racial, ethnic, socio-economic, age, gender, sexual orientation, or other bias (profiling) have led to your arrest?
- Probable cause. Did police have a probably cause to stop you or your vehicle?
- Was the search and seizure that led to alcohol or fake ID charges executed lawfully?
- Did police duly advise you of your Miranda rights against self-incrimination?
It is not unusual for our attorneys to have underage drinking and phony ID charges lowered to a violation of a municipal ordinance, if not dropped altogether. If you are convicted of a municipal offense, it can get removed (expunged) from your record in 2 years, as opposed to 5 years for a criminal offense.
Our lawyers are capable of getting charges reduced and dropped for clients because of the relationships we have built over decades of working with local prosecutors across the state. When we inform prosecutors about a client who recognizes and regrets his or her mistake, they trust us.
Meet With Our Underage Alcohol / Fake ID Defense Attorneys As Soon As Possible
If you have been charged with an underage possession of alcohol offense and/or use of a fake ID to obtain alcohol or tobacco offense anywhere in New Jersey, an attorney from Spodek Law Group will work diligently to seek the best available outcome for you. There are opportunities our well seasoned attorneys can pursue to avoid the burden of a fine, loss of driving privileges, and getting a conviction on your criminal record.
Call Spodek Law Group at any of our New Jersey locations as soon as possible. An initial legal consultation with an attorney is always free.