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Sutnick & Sutnick Attorneys at Law

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It may be several years before you are old enough to drink alcohol. Now that New Jersey is raising the age for buying tobacco products to 21, you may wonder how you will be able to purchase cigarettes. You may think that getting a fake ID will get you access to places where you are too young to be. You may plan on using your fake ID to buy beer at a liquor store this summer or to get a busy bartender to serve you alcohol.

While these may seem like harmless plans, law enforcement is dealing with more serious issues involving fake IDs. They are relatively easy to get, and many are rather difficult to identify as fraudulent. More people are using fake IDs to commit identity theft, credit card fraud and other white collar crimes. Because of this, the penalties for making, possessing or using a fake ID are quite severe.

Very real consequences

When New Jersey law enforcement catches an adult with a fake ID or any forged government document, such as a birth certificate, it could mean more than a year in prison and up to $10,000 in fines if the charges result in a conviction. This does not count the penalties for any offenses the person may have used the ID to commit, such as fraud.

If you are under age 21 with a fake ID, you should not expect the courts to go easy on you. The penalties for a conviction may include a jail sentence as long as six months, fines that could reach $1,000 and the suspension of your driver's license. Aside from the legal ramifications, you may have to deal with any of the following consequences:

  • Having a criminal record may lead to the loss of scholarships or financial aid, and it may even result in suspension or expulsion from college.
  • The suspension of your driver's license will be a serious inconvenience.
  • You do not have to use your ID; simply having it in your possession could result in criminal charges.

Having or using a fake ID is a huge risk, and you would be prudent to simply wait until you are legally old enough to partake in the activities that require a valid ID. Nevertheless, if you are already facing charges of possessing or using a fake ID, seeking the advice of a skilled and experienced attorney may be a wise move for protecting your future.

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