Many college students and underage persons try to gain access to bars and alcohol by using a fake ID. Unfortunately, what seems like a logical means to an end and, perhaps, even a rite of passage, can result in consequences far more severe than one might think. Under North Carolina law, it is illegal to enter or attempt to enter a place where alcoholic beverages are sold or consumed by the use of fraudulent identification. The same is true for obtaining or attempting to obtain alcoholic beverages.
Even possession of a fake ID can result in a criminal conviction. In North Carolina it is illegal to possess any form of fake id for the purpose of deception, fraud, or other criminal conduct. Since that is usually the reason that someone has a fake ID, it is not too difficult for the state to successfully charge the person with a class 1 misdemeanor for the mere possession of a fake ID.
Fraudulent identification includes an altered driver’s license or other document, a license or other document that belongs to someone else, or any other form or means of identification that wrongfully indicates one is not prohibited from purchasing or possessing alcohol.
And the one who uses a fake id is not the only one on the hook. Anyone who permits someone else to use of his or her license or other form of identification for unlawful purposes can also be charged with a criminal offense. If you are contacted by the authorities regarding an investigation, you should not speak with them without first consulting an attorney.
In addition to the criminal convictions that can result from the use of a fake ID, there can be other consequences as well – consequences that may seem even more harsh than the punishment that accompanies a misdemeanor criminal conviction. If one is convicted of using or providing a fake ID in an alcohol related incident, the court has to send a conviction report to the Division of Motor Vehicles. The state will revoke the person’s driver’s license for a period of one year. And, unlike some other convictions related to alcohol, the person is not eligible for limited driving privileges.
Given the possible consequences, you need a lawyer to help you if you are charged with using or providing a fake ID. The consequences are far more severe than one might think. The worst thing you can do is merely pay the fine without seeking the legal advice of an attorney. Payment of the fine is an admission of guilt and results in a conviction. We negotiate with prosecutors (the DA) to find ways to limit the consequences. This is especially true for first time offenders. Let our experienced attorneys help. You have nothing to lose except a criminal conviction and loss of your driving privileges.
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Call Randy Ivie at Sanders Law Firm, PLLC (336) 724-4707, Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Statewide Representation