Fake ID Charges for DC Students

Getting caught with a fake ID in DC and throughout the United States has gotten more serious in recent years. Police departments, particularly those hosted in major college towns, are cracking down on fake IDs. Not only do local police want to discourage college students from illegally purchasing alcohol, they also want to discourage liquor stores and other establishments from providing alcohol to underage students. A DC student defense lawyer will be able to answer additional questions about fake ID charges. Call today to schedule your free initial consultation.

Commonality of Fake ID Charges

Fake ID charges have become much more common in the past several years compared to what they were a decade or two ago. Students’ parents are often shocked to learn that trying to use a fake ID to get into a bar can result in their child being arrested.

Twenty to thirty years ago, the only thing that would happen if a student tried to use a fake ID is that the bouncer would simply take the fake ID and turn them away. More recently, metropolitan police departments and bars have gotten much more aggressive in arresting students for attempting to use false forms of identification to enter bars or buy alcohol from liquor stores.

Reasons Why Fake ID Charges Are More Common

There are a number of reasons why this may be the case. It may be that the reason why police are making more arrests for using a fake ID is the liability that bars face for admitting and serving alcohol to people under age. As a result of that, bar owners and bar bouncers are more likely to contact police when they believe that an underage person may have tried to get into their bar without legitimate documentation.

For that reason, the criminal charge of misrepresentation of age by using false identification has become more common. However, many students dealing with that charge are eligible to have their charges dismissed and expunged.

Consequences of Having Fake ID Confiscated in DC

If a student is found to be in possession of a fake ID by campus police or by university administrators, the possession of a fake ID is a violation of most university student codes of conduct. Typically it’s not going to result in a student being expelled or even suspended. But it can sometimes result in a student being officially reprimanded, or a student being placed on disciplinary probation with certain conditions they would have to comply with to be taken off disciplinary probation.

If a student is charged with misrepresentation of age, then an attorney can work with the prosecutors who file charges of misrepresentation of age to try to get the charge dismissed. DC law contains a provision that permits a student to complete a diversion program where they would complete community service and pay a small fine in exchange for having their criminal charges dismissed by the DC Attorney General’s office. There is an expedited procedure for being able to request that the arrest record also be expunged so that the student never has to acknowledge that they were arrested.

An attorney can assist a student who is caught with a fake ID on campus by helping the student navigate the student judicial hearing process to minimize any penalties and mitigate any possible punishment that the student faces so that the student can stay in school and graduate on time.

When Confiscated On-Campus

A fake ID that is confiscated on campus as a result of, for example, a dorm room search will most likely not result in a criminal charge. The DC Attorney General’s office does not charge as a crime the simple possession of a false form of identification. The DC Attorney General’s office will charge a student or a minor who attempts to use a fake ID or attempts to otherwise misrepresent their age in an attempt to enter an alcohol serving establishment.

If the university confiscates a student’s ID, on the allegations that it’s a false form of identification, the result can be a student judicial proceeding because possession of a fake ID is most often a violation of a student code of conduct. It typically would not result in a student being charged with a crime.

When Confiscated Off Campus

If a student has a fake ID off campus, and it’s confiscated as a result of an attempt to use a fake ID to enter a bar or a liquor store or a nightclub, then that student would very likely be arrested and charged with a crime of misrepresentation of age. However, universities are not often notified of an arrest that took place off campus.