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Use or Possession of Fake ID

Many people under 21 years of age buy or create false driver’s licenses or other types of identification cards (IDs) that can be used to purchase alcoholic beverages or be admitted into bars, night clubs, and other adult establishments. It is important to understand that possessing, creating, or using fake IDs can result in any one of a number of criminal charges in Texas.

While most alleged crimes involving fake IDs are misdemeanor offenses that result only in fines, certain violations can also result in possible incarceration. Any conviction for a crime involving a fake ID can also have a damaging effect on a young person’s future employment or educational prospects because of the resulting criminal record.

Lawyer for Use or Possession of Fake ID in Plano, TX

Were you or your child recently arrested or charged with any kind of criminal offense relating to possession of a fake ID in Collin County? You should avoid making any kind of statement to authorities until you have legal representation. Contact The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today.

Plano criminal defense attorneys Richard McConathy and Brian Bolton represent alleged juvenile offenders in communities all over Collin County, including Frisco, McKinney, Plano, Allen, and many others. They can review your case and answer all of your legal questions when you call 469-304-3422 to take advantage of a free, confidential consultation.


Collin County Use or Possession of Fake ID Information Center


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Use or Possession of Fake ID Charges in Texas

Fake IDs can result in a person being charged with any one of the following offenses, depending on the nature of the activity involved in any alleged crime:

Misrepresentation of Age by a Minor, Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code § 106.07

If a minor allegedly falsely states that he or she is 21 years of age or older or presents any document that indicates he or she is 21 years of age or older to a person engaged in selling or serving alcoholic beverages, it is an offense punishable as provided by Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code § 106.071. Under that statute, misrepresentation of age by a minor is a Class C misdemeanor, although alleged offenses committed by minors who are not children under Texas Family Code § 51.02 are punishable by up to 180 days in jail and/or a minimum fine of $250 up to $2,000.

In addition to fines, alleged offenders may also be ordered to perform a minimum of eight hours up to 12 hours of community service for first offenses or a minimum of 20 hours up to 40 hours of community service for subsequent offenses. Convictions may also result in the following periods of suspension for driver’s licenses:

  • First Offense — 30 days;
  • Second Offense — 60 days; and
  • Third or Subsequent Offense — 180 days.

General Violation, Texas Transportation Code § 521.451

An alleged offender commits a Class A misdemeanor offense if he or she:

  • Displays, causes, or permits to be displayed, or has in his or her possession a driver's license or certificate that he or she knows is fictitious or has been altered;
  • Lends his or her driver's license or certificate to another person or knowingly permits another person to use his or her driver's license or certificate;
  • Displays or represents as his or her own a driver's license or certificate not issued to him or her;
  • Possesses more than one currently valid driver's license or more than one currently valid certificate; or
  • In an application for an original, renewal, or duplicate driver's license or certificate, provides a false name, false address, or a counterfeit document, or knowingly makes a false statement, conceals a material fact, or otherwise commits fraud.

Fictitious License or Certificate, Texas Transportation Code § 521.453

It is a Class C misdemeanor if an alleged offender under the age of 21 years possesses, with the intent to represent that he or she is 21 years of age or older, a document that is deceptively similar to a driver's license or a personal identification certificate unless the document displays the statement "NOT A GOVERNMENT DOCUMENT" diagonally printed clearly and indelibly on both the front and back of the document in solid red capital letters at least one-fourth inch in height. In addition to other penalties associated with this offense, an alleged offender can be ordered to perform eight hours of community service for a first offense or 12 hours of community service for a subsequent offense.

Tampering With Governmental Record, Texas Penal Code § 37.10

Under Texas Penal Code § 37.01, a governmental record is defined as including a license, certificate, permit, seal, title, letter of patent, or similar document issued by government, by another state, or by the United States. Texas Penal Code § 37.10 makes it a criminal offense for an alleged offender to:

  • knowingly make a false entry in, or false alteration of, a governmental record;
  • make, present, or use any record, document, or thing with knowledge of its falsity and with intent that it be taken as a genuine governmental record;
  • intentionally destroy, conceal, remove, or otherwise impair the verity, legibility, or availability of a governmental record;
  • possess, sell, or offer to sell a governmental record or a blank governmental record form with intent that it be used unlawfully;
  • make, present, or use a governmental record with knowledge of its falsity; or
  • possess, sell, or offer to sell a governmental record or a blank governmental record form with knowledge that it was obtained unlawfully.

An offense is usually classified as Class A misdemeanor, but if an alleged offender had the intent to defraud or harm another, the crime can become a state jail felony.


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Use or Possession of Fake ID Penalties in Collin County

The possible consequences of fake ID crimes depend on how the alleged offenses have been classified. Generally, convictions are punishable as follows:

  • Class C Misdemeanor — Fine of up to $500;
  • Class A Misdemeanor — Up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000;
  • State Jail Felony — Up to two years in state jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000;

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Resources for Use or Possession of Fake ID in Texas

Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) Operation Fakeout — The TABC is the state agency responsible for regulating, inspecting, and taxing the production and sale of alcoholic beverages in Texas. On this section of the TABC website, you can learn more about this program designed to counter the use of fake IDs by underage drinkers. You can also find information relating to other TABC programs, including Shoulder Tap Stings, Cops In Shops, and Project SAVE (Stop Alcohol Violations Early).

Fake ID Ownership and Heavy Drinking in Underage College Students: Prospective Findings — View a study examining the ownership of fake IDs “for the purpose of obtaining alcohol and the relation of fake ID ownership to heavy drinking in a longitudinal sample of college students under 21 years of age” that was published in the Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, a quarterly peer-reviewed academic journal of the American Psychological Association. The authors used a sample of 3,720 undergraduates, assessing the summer prior to college entrance and the four semesters comprising their freshman and sophomore years. Results showed that fake ID ownership increased over time (from 12.5 percent before college to 32.2 percent to the fourth semester), and fake ID ownership also “predicted concurrent and next-semester heavy drinking with increasing strength over time.”


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The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy | Plano Use or Possession of Fake ID Defense Attorney

If you or your child were charged or arrested anywhere in Collin County for any kind of crime relating to the alleged use or possession of a fake ID, it will be in your best interest to immediately retain legal counsel. The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy aggressively defends minors accused of these offenses in McKinney, Frisco, Allen, Plano, and several surrounding areas of Collin County.

Richard McConathy and Brian Bolton are experienced criminal defense lawyers in Plano who can fight to help you achieve the most favorable outcome to your case resulting in the fewest possible penalties. Call 469-304-3422 or submit an online contact form to have our attorneys provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free initial consultation.


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