When Your Child Faces Fake ID Charges in York County, Pennsylvania

Borrowing someone else's ID to try to get into a club or buy some beer seems almost like a rite of passage for many adults. But times have changed, and fake ID charges can be serious in York County. If you have a teen or young adult who borrows an ID, possesses, or uses a fake ID, tries to alter someone else's ID, or even gives or loans an ID to someone else, they could be facing misdemeanor or felony charges with weighty consequences.

If you have a child in Dallastown, York County, or Central York schools, or if you have a child nearby in college, they need an experienced criminal defense lawyer by their side if they're arrested on fake ID charges. A conviction could affect their future educational and career opportunities for years to come.

Fake ID Violations and Charges in York County

Fake ID charges don't just involve a teen using their older sibling's ID to try to buy beer. Using a fake ID for any reason can involve criminal charges, including when:

  • Your child tries to use someone else's ID
  • Your child shows a fake ID to a police officer
  • Your child uses a fabricated ID
  • Your child alters an official government ID
  • Your child uses false information or forged or altered documents to try to get a state-issued ID
  • Your child manufactures a fake ID
  • Your child sells, gives, or “loans” a real or fake ID to someone else
  • Your child possesses a fake ID

The only ID your child may legally use is one the federal or state government issued using real documents and accurate and truthful information. Attempting to use a fake ID, an ID issued to someone else, or using incorrect information to obtain a state-issued ID is illegal.

Moreover, if your child is under 21 and tries to use a fake, borrowed, or altered ID to purchase tobacco or alcohol, they could face additional charges in addition to fake ID charges.

Fake ID Laws and Penalties in York County

Pennsylvania law has several criminal code sections pertaining to fake IDs:

  1. Presenting False Identification to a Police Officer It is illegal for your child to give “false information about [their] identity after being informed by a law enforcement officer who is in uniform or who has identified himself as a law enforcement officer that the person is the subject of an official investigation of a violation of law.” 18 Pa. C.S. § 4914 (2000). Your child could face a third-degree misdemeanor, and a conviction can result in a fine of up to $5,000 and 90 days in jail.
  2. Manufacturing or Selling a Fake ID It is also illegal to “intentionally, knowingly or recklessly manufactures, makes, alters, sells or attempts to sell an identification card falsely representing the identity, birth date or age of another.” Manufacturing or selling a fake ID is a second-degree summary offense in Pennsylvania. 18 Pa. C.S. § 6310.2 (1988). The lowest level criminal charge in Pennsylvania is a summary offense, below misdemeanors and felonies. Nonetheless, a second-degree summary offense conviction can result in a fine of $150 and 20 days in jail.
  3. Possessing a False Identification Card If your child is under 21 and uses someone else's ID or a fake ID to try to buy alcohol, they could face an arrest for a summary offense. See 18 Pa. C.S. § 6310.3 (2018). A summary conviction is punishable by a fine of up to $250 and 90 days in jail. Additionally, your child could face charges for buying or possessing alcohol underage.

Defending Against Fake ID Charges in York County

While fake ID charges can be serious, it's important to remember that an arrest or charge isn't a conviction. Your child is innocent until proven guilty and is entitled to a vigorous defense in court. Our experienced York County fake ID attorneys can protect your child's rights through the entire process, evaluating the case and presenting the best options for their defense.

Some common defenses in Pennsylvania fake ID cases include:

  • Failure to prove intent: Selling or manufacturing a fake ID requires that the state prove your child had “intent, knowledge, or recklessness” as elements of the crime. The court may not convict your child if the state can't prove each element, including intent.
  • Law enforcement officer actions: For charges related to presenting a fake ID to a police officer, section 4914 of the requires that the officer identify themselves as a police officer or be in uniform. If the law enforcement officer fails to do this, the court may find your child not guilty. It's common for people to feel uncomfortable giving personal information and their ID to someone who isn't identifiable as a police officer.

Expunging or Sealing a Fake ID Conviction in York County

Your best option for a good outcome with fake ID charges is to hire an experienced York County fake ID attorney. But sometimes, even the best outcome will involve a conviction for a fake ID charge. In some cases, your child may be eligible to expunge or seal their fake ID arrest or court records.

Pennsylvania law only allows expungement of convictions in limited situations, including:

  • Summary offense convictions if your child hasn't faced an arrest or prosecution in five years
  • Convictions for an underage alcohol offense
  • Convictions for those over 70 that happened more than ten years ago
  • When the applicant has been dead for at least three years
  • After a governor's pardon
  • Juvenile convictions for fake ID charges if the child is now over 18 and meets all the statutory requirements

Pennsylvania law is more forgiving when it comes to sealing fake ID charges, allowing limited public access for many misdemeanor convictions in a wider range of cases. When your child gets their record sealed, the records will still exist, but public access will be limited. However, it's very difficult to seal a felony conviction.

Under Pennsylvania's new Clean Slate statute, the court will automatically seal some misdemeanor or summary offense convictions after five or ten years. But even if your child isn't eligible for automatic sealing, they may be eligible to apply to have their misdemeanor record sealed after ten years.

How Fake ID Convictions Can Affect Your Child's Education

A conviction for using or possessing a fake ID can seriously impact your child's future college and graduate school education. For example, the Student Code of Conduct at York College of Pennsylvania covers both on-campus and off-campus behavior:

The Student Code of Conduct applies to student conduct that adversely affects the College community and/or the pursuit of its objectives. This includes conduct that occurs on College premises, at College sponsored activities, and off campus. Students who live off-campus are subject to all policies in the Student Code of Conduct. Students are accountable for the conduct in which they engage while enrolled at the College. The College may charge a student for any behavior that occurs from the point of acceptance of admission to the College, while the student is enrolled, and between semesters of concurrent enrollment. This applies to conduct that occurs before classes begin, after classes end, and to conduct that is not discovered until after a degree has been awarded. Student Conduct proceedings may occur in the absence of the charged student at the sole discretion of the College.

Fake ID charges fall under “deception and dishonesty” and include “[f]orgery, alteration, transfer, misrepresentation, or any other unauthorized change, use, or revision of College records, transcripts, grade reports, documents, ID cards, parking passes, or any other College document,” as well as, the “[c]reation, possession, or use of any form of false identification.”

Violations of the college's student code of conduct related to fake ID charges can result in interim or final sanctions from a disciplinary hearing. Possible interim sanctions can include a suspension. Final sanctions can include:

  • An official warning
  • Fines or restitution
  • Educational assignments
  • Loss of privileges
  • Disciplinary probation
  • Eviction from residence halls
  • Suspension
  • Expulsion

While it can be easy to dismiss a fake ID charge as a minor matter, a conviction can result in educational consequences for your child, including suspension, expulsion, loss of college admission offers, loss of scholarships, and more. Your child may also find it difficult to continue their education through graduate or professional school or to obtain professional licensing after graduation.

You Need an Experienced York County Fake ID Lawyer

If you have a child facing fake ID charges in York County, you know that they need skilled representation. Your child's best chance to avoid a criminal conviction is our experienced Criminal Law Team. Our Criminal Law Team at the LLF Law Firm have helped many Pennsylvanians with fake ID charges. Moreover, our Criminal Law Team are experienced student discipline defense attorneys. We can help your child navigate the criminal justice system and handle any fallback at your child's college or university. Give the LLF Law Firm a call at 888-535-3686 and find out how we can help you.

Contact Us Today!

The LLF Law Firm Team has decades of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the LLF Law Firm today! Our Criminal Defense Team will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

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