Chances are you’ve probably heard the phrase, “Fake I.D.” several times, whether it was your older sibling who boasted about getting theirs back in the day or your friends who say they have a person who makes great ones. That being said purchasing a fake ID is not worth the risk. The state of Texas takes its underage alcohol laws seriously, so when it comes to fake ids it makes sense that they are big on penalizing them. If you used a fake I.D. and got caught, you need to seek a lawyer for fake I.D. charges immediately. They can tell you what to do next.
Possession of a fake I.D. is a serious offense in the state of Texas. You’ll need a criminal defense attorney who has experience with juvenile cases if you are currently facing a charge. At The Gonzalez Law Group, we are a team of trusted lawyers who are dedicated to criminal defense cases like yours.
We know how troubling it can be to have your son or daughter charged with a fake I.D. offense. Come over to our firm so we can analyze your case and advise you on the next steps. Communication is important to our team of lawyers and we will never leave you in the dark.
Call our office for a free consultation at (832) 530-4070, or feel free to fill out a form below describing your case. We work with individuals residing in Harris County, Chambers County, Brazoria County, Galveston County, and Fort Bend County.
Fake I.D. Offenses
There are a couple of statutes in the Texas legislature that address the use of Fake I.Ds. For the purposes of this page, we will go over the offenses that are specific to minors or juveniles. Juveniles are known to use Fake I.D.s for different purposes including but not limited to:
- Entering a bar, club, or any space specified for individuals 21 or older only
- Purchasing or soliciting alcohol from a liquor store, bar, or any vendor whose alcohol sale is specified for individuals 21 or older only
- Reserving, purchasing, or soliciting a service that is reserved for individuals 21 or older only
Alcoholic Beverage Code 106.07 addresses the use of misrepresentation of age to purchase alcohol. You cannot say you’re 21 years or older nor present a document that falsely states that you’re 21 years or older. Any offense like this is classified as a Class C misdemeanor.
As far as any use of falsifying Identification documents used for other purposes besides the purchase or possession of alcohol, Texas Transportation Code 521.451 states a person may not:
- Possess a driver’s license or document that he or she knows is fake or has been tampered with.
- Let another person borrow their license or document with his or her permission
- Possess or present a driver’s license or certificate not issued to himself or herself
This offense is classified as a Class A misdemeanor. If the person used the fake I.D. specifically for the purchase or use of alcohol, then they will most likely be prosecuted only under the alcoholic beverage code.
There are two other statutes under Texas law that address the fraudulent use of fake IDs however each offense is characterized by the situation involving the fake IDs and the intentions behind it.
Texas Penal Code 37.10 involves tempering with a real government-issued ID and changing specific information provided inside the ID, such as the date of birth. This offense is also classified as a Class A misdemeanor. Furthermore, Texas Penal Code 32.51 involves the use of a real person’s identifying information. A real person can be someone alive or deceased. For the purpose of the statute, this code specifies that the other person whose information is being used is not aware of it. The code also addresses an intent to harm or defraud as a big part of this offense. Even if a minor’s intentions don’t involve defrauding someone else, the code considers that the nature of the action when an individual possesses three or more individuals’ identifying information without the person’s knowledge or permission, including that of deceased people. Depending on the number of people’s identifying documents in the individuals’ possession this offense can be categorized from a state jail felony to a first-degree felony.
Fake I.D. Penalties
If you use a fake I.D. to purchase or obtain alcohol your Class C misdemeanor offense is punishable as stated in Section 106.071 by the following:
- Alcohol awareness program
- Drug education program
- Drug and alcohol driving awareness program
The purpose of these programs is to offer some type of rehabilitation feature for the offender. If no programs are available near the minor’s residence area, then his or her community service assignment can involve a rehabilitation feature as well.
Community service assignments are as follows:
|1st offense||2nd offense|
|8-12 hours||20-40 hours|
The offense can also cause the minor’s driver’s license or permit and his application for one to become suspended according to the following:
|1st offense||2nd offense||3rd offense|
|30 days||60 days||180 days|
Additionally, the minor who is not a child (10-16 years old) who is convicted twice before with the same offense is subject to the following.
|Incarceration||Confinement in jail up to 180 days|
Both the offense of a minor in possession of alcohol and the use of a fake I.D to obtain alcohol fall under the same category, so a court can always cite that as two separate convictions under the same offense.
Because the use of a fake ID by a minor for purposes other than possession of alcohol are not specified under any Texas statute, a child or minor ages (10-16) who possesses a fake I.D is most likely to be tried under the juvenile court procedure. Though they can be subject to the same penalties stated above aside from incarceration, the juvenile court has a different role. They are keener on the prevention and rehabilitation of the offender. Minors can be offered deferred prosecution or deferred adjunction and are more likely to be punished by probation or community service assignments. The juvenile court process also involves a bigger role for parents. The juvenile’s parents can be subject to any fine as a result of the offense. The parents can also be required to attend the same juvenile program as their son or daughter.
In any case, if the severity of the offense is big enough, a minor can always be sent to a juvenile detention center or even tried as an adult if the court demands it. The juvenile decides that based on the way the court views the minor as well as the nature of his crime. This can be done in the form of a transfer. If the juvenile’s fake I.D case gets transferred to an adult court, the penalties are subject to the Texas penal code. In that case, a class C misdemeanor’s maximum punishment is subject to a $500 fine, while a first-degree felony is subject to a minimum of 5 years of incarceration. All penalties are ultimately subject to the court handling the offense.
What is Operation Fake Out? – The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission implemented a program called Operation Fake Out in order to reduce the number of fake IDs roaming the state. Retailers work with the state and are taught how to distinguish the real from the fake.
Fake IDs Study – The journal discusses a study about the broad effect of fake IDs. Such effects include the big access fake IDs give to illegal use of alcohol. The study talks about how such use has an impact on our overall society.
Attorney for Fake I.D. Defense in Houston, TX
If your son or daughter was caught using a fake I.D., you need to call The Gonzalez Law Group. Texas laws can be harsh on fake I.D. punishments, and you will need a legal counsel with the expertise to advise you on what to do next. At our firm, we specialize in juvenile crimes and want to help you. Our team of attorneys can review your case to see the steps to follow.
Get in touch with us by dialing (832) 530-4070 or by filling out the case review intake at the bottom of the page. The Gonzalez Law Group knows this is a difficult scenario in which your child can suffer serious consequences, and we want to do everything within our power to help you out. Call our office for a free consultation with no strings attached.