As a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer and Jacksonville juvenile attorney, I have spoken with concerned parents about their children. I have represented young adults and teenagers for a variety of crimes ranging from misdemeanor to felony charges. High school and college students may experiment with drugs and alcohol. This could result in criminal charges for possession of alcohol by a minor or possession of marijuana in Jacksonville.
I often hear teens say, “All of my friends are doing it.” They do not understand what the bid deal is. Any criminal charge is a big deal. An arrest will stay on your record unless you seal or expunge your Florida record. Some crimes are more serious than others. While drinking under age in Florida is misdemeanor, using a fake ID or drivers license to appear to be 21-years-old is a felony. The Florida Law for Possession of Fraudulent or Counterfeit Licenses is Section 322.212.
Besides the fact that possessing a fake ID is a felony in Jacksonville, there are other problems associated with obtaining a fraudulent license. The U.S. Department of Justice and the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation prepared the Law Enforcement Guide to False Identification and Illegal ID Use. This guide made a great point about the dangers of obtaining a fake ID:
“It is important to realize that illegal ID use has multiple ramifications and does not solely relate to the obtaining of alcohol. Cases have been documented where individuals using illegal IDs have been admitted to the hospital using the wrong ID which created a significant risk to the patient. In other cases the wrong parents were notified following an incident. One of the most common risks and outcomes of illegal ID use is identity theft. Young people purchasing an ID through direct contact or via the internet are often asked for personal information. Their desire to obtain that illegal document may cloud their judgment and they willingly provide their personal information. The risk that the ‘fake’ ID manufacturer will later use that information for personal criminal use is great.”
So how are high school and college students obtaining fake ID cards? “Fake IDs come from a variety of sources. Creative individuals have established their own ability to produce and market their own fake IDs and provide or sell them to friends and acquaintances. In some cases the qualities of the IDs produced are good enough that they expand their business and sell them through referrals and their own marketing efforts.” The fraudulent identification cards can also be obtained through the Internet. “A quick computer search on the term fake ID reveals millions of hits. Some of the sites listed advertise novelty/fake IDs and sell their products through the online purchase process. These IDs are of good quality and can pass for real state documents if the carder fails to examine them closely. To avoid prosecution some of these IDs have disclaimers that they are not real documents or not issued by the government. In these cases the manufacturer tells the user that he or she bears the responsibility for the illegal use.”
The Internet companies may be scam. Some “people are willingly sending money to these sites with hopes of getting an ID. After sending in the money and information they anxiously await the arrival of the ID only to realize that they have been scammed.”