Go to any college town or destination in Texas, and there’s a high likelihood many students will have a fake ID tucked in their purse or pocket. In fact, it may be the one thing they never leave home without.
While a fake ID may be an underclassman’s most prized possession, it comes with big risks. Not only can using a fake ID in Texas land a student in trouble with the law, but it could possibly lead to school disciplinary action. Here’s a crash course on the law and the potential consequences of using a false identification and how a Fort Worth fake ID lawyer might be able to help with the ensuing legal process.
There are a number of ways college students obtain fake IDs in Texas. Some may borrow an ID from an older sibling or friend who bears a resemblance. Others may purchase a fake ID online. Some may attempt to forge or alter their birth date on a license or present a fake birth document to obtain a driver’s license or state ID card. All of these scenarios would be illegal under Texas law and the offenses range from misdemeanors tickets to felonies.
Texas Transportation Code 521.451 prohibits fake IDs in several ways, including lending your ID to another person, having more than one driver’s license, or providing false information when applying for a license or ID card. The statute states that a person may not:
Violation of this statute is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine.
Under the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code 106.07, a minor commits an offense if he or she falsely states that he or she is 21 years of age or older and presents any document that indicates that he or she is 21 years of age or older to a person engaged in selling or serving alcoholic beverages. An example of this might be misrepresenting yourself as 21 to a doorman at a bar.
This offense is a Class C Misdemeanor punishable by up to a $500 fine. Misrepresentation of age by a minor is the most common fake ID offense in Texas.
Under Texas Transportation Code 521.453, it’s illegal to possess a fictitious license or certificate. The statute states that a person commits the offense of possession of a fictitious license if they possess, with the intent to represent that they are 21 years of age or older, a “deceptively similar” driver license or ID certificate – unless the document displays the statement “Not a Government Document” printed in ¼ inch solid red capital letters diagonally on both sides.
This offense is considered a Class C Misdemeanor, which carries a penalty of up to a $500 if convicted.
Texas Penal Code 37.10 is the statute that most likely would apply to someone who altered a driver’s license or identification card. An individual commits the offense of tampering with a government record if he or she:
This offense is considered a third degree felony, punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
Absolutely. In fact, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission often conducts undercover operations where they knowing send minor-aged people into stores, bars and restaurants to purchase alcohol. If the sale is successful, the business and its employees could face administrative or criminal charges. For example, last summer the TABC announced that they would be conducting a series of back-to-school undercover operations as tens of thousands of college and university students head back to class.
Most of the time, an astute bouncer or bartender will notice the fake ID. In some cases – if the student is lucky – they will just take up the ID. The worst case scenario occurs when police are contacted and the student is ticketed or arrested.
Yes, with your parents. In Texas, minors can drink in the presence of their adult parent, guardian or spouse.
If you are caught with a fake ID or manufacturing or selling counterfeit identification, call the law offices of Varghese Summersett as soon as possible. It’s imperative that our team gets to work immediately in an effort to prevent or defend a criminal prosecution. The ultimate goal would be to try and avoid a criminal conviction, which could go on your record and have far-reaching effects. Also, our attorneys will work to get in front of any school disciplinary hearings that could stem from the offense. Our consultations are confidential and you can call us even before you contact your parents. Call 817-203-2220 today find out how we can help.