What happens if you get caught with a fake ID? The consequences usually aren’t of great concern to the kids using them, who have been trying to get their hands on booze since the raising of the legal drinking age in Texas in the 80s. Teenagers, although no longer permitted to do so, still love to drink alcohol, and will go to great lengths to make it happen. That can mean sneaking an ID from an older brother or sister, buying one from a shady business, or even fabricating one by hand.
There are of course other, more nefarious reasons to have fake identification, but it is a problem essentially endemic to underage drinking. With so many fake IDs running around on the street, what happens if you get caught?
Is having a fake ID a felony?
There are a few different types of fake ID charges to discuss, almost every one of which is, in Texas, Class A Misdemeanor caliber. It is possible, however, to be charged with a felony for a fake ID depending on the circumstances.
In cases like these, it’s possible that a person can be facing multiple charges for having a fake ID. Not only do all fake ID charges also violate the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code, but fake ID charges often go hand in hand with charges like Minor in Possession (MIP) or a DUI minor charge.
The types of charges and their respective penalties are not the only important implication to be discussed with respect to fake IDs. There are multiple 3rd parties to consider, that are affected by way of potential liability or harm, whenever anyone uses a fake ID.
Serious implications for using a fake ID in Houston
It is impossible to use a fake ID without involving another person, whether it be the person from whom you “borrowed” the ID or the doorman at the club doing his job.
Accepting a fake ID is a potentially disastrous prospect for a bartender or server. Not only can the individual or business lose their liquor license for serving someone underaged, but they can be held responsible legally should anything happen to the minor they served. An older sibling who gets caught knowingly lending a minor their identification card is going to face just as severe of consequences as the minor committing the crime.
In using a fake ID, you’re not only putting yourself at risk for legal consequences –– you are risking the livelihoods of everyone directly or indirectly involved.
Penalty for having a fake ID in Texas
The real reason for the restrictions on minors’ alcohol consumption, and the lowering of the drinking age in Texas, is that lawmakers want to cut down on alcohol-related crimes. DWI or DUI, minor or not, they’re just as deadly. Texas courts are notoriously tough on drunk driving, and even a DWI first offense can affect a person’s entire life if they aren’t proactive about finding the right person to fight for them.
Possession of a fake driver’s license or ID
Under Texas Penal Code § 521.452-455 it is illegal to:
- Display, cause, or permit to be displayed, or have in the person’s possession a driver’s license or certificate that the person knows is fictitious or has been altered.
- Possess a document deceptively similar to a driver’s license or personal identification certificate.
- Possess more than one currently valid driver’s license or more than one currently valid certificate.
- Provide a false name, address, or counterfeit document in an application for an original, renewal, or duplicate driver’s license or certificate.
- Lend the person’s driver’s license or certificate to another person or knowingly permit another person to use the person’s driver’s license or certificate.
These offenses would be charged as a misdemeanor, although they also have the ability to violate the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code, which would produce compounding and overlapping charges.
Misrepresentation of age by a minor
You technically don’t even need to present a document to be charged with misrepresentation of age by a minor, a common charge for underage would-be alcohol buyers.
This charge, like all fake ID charges, gets complicated quickly. It also violates the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code and can land you with compounding punishments. Without an experienced and tenacious criminal defense attorney, you can be facing many code violations.
Falsifying a government record
The most severe Fake ID charge Texas law has is falsifying a government record, which could be anywhere from a Class A misdemeanor to a third-degree felony. The severity of the charge is determined by what the falsified record is used to accomplish, but buying alcohol is not one of the listed felonies.
Real ID Texas has made it much more difficult to falsify a driver’s license, but obviously many fake IDs are still making it through the doors at bars around the state, and a lot of minors are still driving drunk. If your child is being charged with DUI, call a trustworthy DWI lawyer like Mark Thiessen from Thiessen Law Firm to get their life back on track while you still can.
Caught with a Fake ID? Call Thiessen Law Firm for Top Representation.
What happens if you get caught with a fake ID? You call trusted legal counsel, or risk dealing with the possibility of multiple charges on multiple fronts on your own. With guidance from someone who understands the system, it is possible to get back on track after being caught with a fake ID. Hiring Mark Thiessen as your DWI lawyer will give you a better shot at a “not guilty” verdict. He has successfully handled many cases just like yours, and he will not stop fighting for your freedom.
Don’t let a run-in with the law define your future. Call Thiessen Law Firm at 713-864-9000 or schedule a free consultation online today.
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