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Joseph A. Lombardo

Depending on the circumstances of an arrest, New Jersey residents can face different charges for using or owning a fake ID. Understanding these charges and the potential penalties is important if you’ve been arrested for using a fake ID in New Jersey.

Using or possessing a fake ID in New Jersey can result in life-changing charges and penalties. Using a fake ID can lead to a criminal charge for displaying a false document or identity theft. Simply owning a fake ID can lead to a criminal charge for possessing a false document. Individuals under 21 who use a fake ID to purchase alcohol or tobacco are exempt from these charges and can be arrested for a disorderly persons offense instead. That said, any charges related to using or possessing a fake ID can result in prison time and expensive fines in New Jersey.

If you’ve recently been arrested for using a fake ID, we can help. For a free case evaluation with the Atlantic City criminal defense attorneys at the Lombardo Law Group, LLC, call today at (609) 418-4537.

What Are the Charges and Penalties for Using a Fake ID in New Jersey

In New Jersey, people arrested for having or using a fake ID can be charged with displaying a false document, possessing a false document, identity theft, or a disorderly persons offense. Understanding these charges can be challenging, so it’s important to enlist help from a Linwood criminal defense attorney after being arrested for having a fake ID.

Displaying a False Document

Suppose you’re arrested for having a fake ID and using it to attempt to make certain purchases or engage in certain activities. In that case, you can be arrested for displaying a false document. According to N.J.S.A. § 2C:21-2.1(c), those that exhibit or display a document purporting to be their driver’s license, birth certificate, or other government identification document can be charged with a third-degree crime. A conviction for displaying a false document can come with serious penalties, like five years in prison and fines up to $15,000.

In New Jersey, you may be able to get a conviction for displaying a false document expunged from your criminal record. Because this is a felony offense, it may be years before you can begin the expungement process. Expensive fines and a lengthy prison sentence can derail your life, impacting your ability to find safe housing or employment. To prevent that from happening, consult a Mays Landing criminal defense attorney after getting arrested for using a fake ID.

Possessing a False Document

If New Jersey police officers find a fake ID in your possession, you could be arrested for possessing a false document. According to N.J.S.A. § 2C:21-2.1(d), a person who knowingly possesses a fake driver’s license, birth certificate, or other government-issued identification documents like a passport, can be charged with a fourth-degree crime. Being charged with possessing a false document for ownership of a fake ID can have serious consequences. Not only do criminal defendants face 18 months in prison, but expensive fines can add up to $10,000.

Identity Theft

Depending on the circumstances of your arrest, you could face criminal charges for identity theft for owning and using a fake ID in New Jersey. According to N.J.S.A. § 2C:21-17, impersonating a person or assuming a false identity with the intent to injure or defraud another person can result in a charge for identity theft. Impersonating another person or assuming a fake identity to avoid payment for prior services or to fraudulently obtain services can also result in an identity theft charge.

Whether a person is charged with identity theft in the fourth, third, or second degree will depend on how they used a fake ID to benefit themselves. A conviction for identity theft in New Jersey can result in a prison sentence of 18 months to ten years and fines of up to $500 to $150,000, depending on the degree of the charge.

Disorderly Persons Offense

In New Jersey, juveniles arrested on charges relating to fake IDs face significantly lesser penalties. Fake IDs are commonly used by minors to purchase alcohol or tobacco. In New Jersey, the legal age to purchase such substances is 21. If a person under the age of 21 uses or owns a fake ID to purchase substances like alcohol or tobacco and is arrested, they may face a disorderly persons charge in New Jersey. The maximum prison sentence for such an offense is six months, and the maximum fine is $1,000. There is also a mandatory suspension of a defendant’s driver’s license. If a defendant does not have a driver’s license at the time of conviction, the suspension will go into effect once they do get their license.

What to Do After Getting Arrested for Using a Fake ID in New Jersey

If you were recently arrested for using or possessing a fake ID in New Jersey, call a lawyer immediately. An experienced Camden County criminal defense attorney can work to get the charges against you reduced or thrown out altogether, depending on the circumstances of your case.

Penalties for using a fake ID in New Jersey can be serious. Depending on the circumstances of your arrest, a skilled lawyer may be able to get the charges against you reduced or dismissed.

Lesser charges mean fewer consequences, allowing many New Jersey defendants to move on with their lives sooner than anticipated. If you were arrested for possessing a fake ID after New Jersey police officers performed an improper search, your attorney might be able to get the charges against you dropped.

Call Our New Jersey Attorneys if You’ve Been Arrested for Using a Fake ID

If you were recently arrested on charges related to using or possessing a fake ID, our lawyers can help. For a free case evaluation with the Egg Harbor Township criminal defense attorneys at the Lombardo Law Group, LLC, call today at (609) 418-4537.

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