New Brunswick NJ Fake ID Lawyer
Uttering of False Government Documents Attorneys in Middlesex County, New Jersey
Have you been arrested for possessing a fake ID? Every year we represent numerous clients around Middlesex County just like you. These charges are especially prevalent in New Brunswick, Piscataway, Edison and Woodbridge with the thousands of underage Rutgers students who want to take advantage of the popular bars around town. Often times your fake ID will be exposed if you get kicked out of the bar and the police are called because you won’t leave or are causing a disturbance. In a lot of cases we see, these actions also lead to additional charges like disorderly conduct and trespassing. For students or young people in particular, these charges can be especially devastating as most these young adults will soon be graduating and entering the workforce. Trying to find a job with a criminal conviction in today’s day and age can prove very challenging.
Understanding New Jersey Fake ID 2C:21-2.1 Charges
New Jersey has different variations of laws and penalties for fake IDs. However, for purposes of this article we will cover the law and penalties for possessing or “uttering” a fake ID under 2C:21-2.1. This basically means that the ID was manufactured or purchased as a fake license rather than using someone else’s ID, such as an older brother, to get into a bar which a separate law known as Tampering With Public Records punishable under 2C:28-7. Therefore if you purchased the fake ID off the internet or bought it in a store so you could drink underage then you will be charged under this statute. The word “uttering” means to display that fake ID to someone such as a bartender or cashier at a liquor store in order to induce them to sell you alcohol. The law distinguishes between that action and simply possessing the fake ID in your wallet. Moreover, it is important to note that although we use the term “fake ID” a lot pertaining to fake drivers licenses, the statute actually covers fake birth certificates and fake state IDs as seen in the picture above.
Penalties For Fake ID in New Jersey
New Jersey takes fake ID charges very seriously compared to other states. In fact, in New Jersey, a fake ID will normally land you with fourth or third degree criminal charges depending on the circumstances. This means that you will have to go to Middlesex County Superior Court and the case will be handled by the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office. Once a case is sent to the Superior Court it ups the ante big time. A third degree crime is punishable by 3 – 5 years in state prison, while a fourth degree crime is punishable by up to 18 months in state prison. The good news is that if this is your first time in trouble you normally won’t face state prison since there is a presumption against it for first time offenders. However, that could still leave you with a felony conviction and long term probation. For your convenience we have broken down the penalties for fake ID charges under 2C:21-2.1 in the formula below.
Possession of Fake ID → 4th Degree Crime → 18 months in state prison
Displaying the Fake ID → 3rd Degree Crime → 3 – 5 years in state prison
How To Defend A NJ Fake ID Charge
While the level of proof in these cases is beyond a reasonable doubt, the facts are normally fairly straight forward. Basically, the prosecutor would need to prove that you knowingly possessed or presented the ID and knew it was fake. However, we normally find there can be a lot of flexibility with working out these cases through plea bargaining. First, the case may not always be as easy or straight forward as it appears on the surface. Most times the prosecutor needs the testimony of a third party such as bouncer or bartender to establish that the defendant possessed and presented the ID. Secondly, and probably most importantly, it always help to remind the prosecutor that we were all young once and you would be hard pressed to find somebody that didn’t have a sip of alcohol before their 21st birthday. It’s for these reasons that we consistently see these types of cases remanded back to municipal court and then sometimes even further downgraded to a municipal ordinance.
Contact A False Document Lawyer in Edison For A Free Consultation
The attorneys at Proetta & Oliver are well versed in the nuances of criminal defense practice. We have learned this through years of experience and being in the courtroom on a daily basis. In fact, we handle numerous fake ID charges every year in Middlesex County and throughout New Jersey. If you or your loved one has been charged with uttering a fake document or a related offense of underage drinking or supplying alcohol to minors then it is important you understand your rights and options. As a matter of standard, we offer free consultations with lawyers at our office that will spend the time to learn the details of your case, assess defenses and possible outcomes and quote you a reasonable fee for representation. If you are interested in learning more about how we may be able to help you, contact our office today at (732) 659-9600.