Fake ID in Washington DC | What You Need to Know - Ervin Kibria Law

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      Underage Drinking and Using a Fake ID in Washington, DC

      Using a fake or false identification (generally with a fake ID card) is usually done for a purpose. In many cases, the objective is to get alcohol while under the legal drinking age of 21 or to enter an establishment that serves alcohol, which requires a patron to be 21 years of age or older. Indeed, the connection is so prevalent that DC Code §25–1002 talks explicitly about the punishments for underage drinking and misrepresentation of age using a fake ID together in one place.

      Underage Drinking Penalties in DC

      As mentioned, the legal drinking age in DC is 21 years or older. Unfortunately, that is the standard, and the laws regarding underage drinking are strict about enforcing that standard. Therefore, if you are still underage, it is essential to take a moment to understand the legal consequences you may face before you make any party plans involving alcohol.

      In DC, the law makes it illegal for those under 21 to purchase, attempt to purchase, possess; or drink alcoholic beverages.

      The narrow exception to the rule above is that an underage worker at an establishment is allowed to handle alcohol strictly for work purposes. That means you will not get in trouble for stacking 6-pack beers on store shelves while under 21, even though you are technically in possession of alcohol.

      If you are convicted of purchasing; attempting to purchase; possessing; or drinking alcoholic beverages while you are underage, an escalating series of civil penalties apply:

      1. Upon the first violation, a fine of not more than $300 and suspension of driving privileges in the District for 90 consecutive days.
      2. Upon the second violation, a fine of not more than $600 and suspension of driving privileges in the District for 180 consecutive days.
      3. Upon a third or subsequent violation, a fine of not more than $1,000 and suspension of driving privileges in the District for one year.

      In addition to these penalties, you may be required to undergo a diversion program, including community service and alcohol awareness and education. You will have to pay a fee to enter such a program, although the cost may be reduced or waived.
      It is also important to remember that college students may still face additional discipline from their educational institution.

      Misrepresentation of Age Penalties in DC

      Regardless of your actual age, misrepresenting your age in DC—whether orally or by use of a fake ID—for purchasing, possessing, entering an establishment that serves alcohol (requiring the age of entry to be 21 or older), or drinking an alcoholic beverage is a misdemeanor offense.

      In general, simply possessing a fake ID in DC is usually not enough to be charged with a crime. Instead, the authority must prove the fake ID to buy alcohol or enter an establishment that serves alcohol. Generally, this is established when the fake ID is used to do those things.

      Those who are convicted of misrepresentation of age face punishments virtually the same as those for violating the underage drinking law:

      1. Upon the first violation, a fine of not more than $300 and suspension of driving privileges in the District for 90 consecutive days.
      2. Upon the second violation, a fine of not more than $600 and suspension of driving privileges in the District for 180 consecutive days.
      3. Upon a third or subsequent violation, a fine of not more than $1,000 and suspension of driving privileges in the District for one year.

      A significant difference here is that the punishments are criminal offenses, meaning they will appear on your criminal record on background searches.

      Additionally, those who do not pay the fines will be imprisoned for a period not exceeding 30 days.

      On your first or second offense of misrepresentation of age, it may be possible to be allowed to enter a diversion program instead of facing the noted penalties. However, if you refuse an offered program, fail to comply with the program’s requirements, or fail to complete the program within six months, you may continue to be prosecuted and face the penalties all the same. You will also have to pay a fee to enter the program, though it can be reduced or waived.

      Expungement of Misrepresentation of Age Offenses

      Concerning misrepresentation of age, it is possible to expunge the offense from your criminal record after six months have passed from a conviction or dismissal of a proceeding. The court will only grant the expungement if you have paid all associated fines and have not been charged or convicted of any other criminal offense.

      Once so expunged, the effect will be to lawfully restore your position to the one you occupied before the offense. Therefore, you will not be guilty of perjury or otherwise giving a false statement by failing to recite or acknowledge the expunged offense. However, you will still have to reveal the expunged offense in response to a direct questionnaire or application for a position as a law enforcement officer.

      Getting a DC Fake ID/Underage Drinking Lawyer

      Being found in violation of the underage drinking law in Washington DC can be a severe issue. Not only is there a fine, but suspension of driving privileges can have a wide-reaching impact on your life by making it harder to commute to important places—such as your campus or office.

      Being found to violate the misrepresentation of age law in Washington DC is even more severe. Unlike a civil penalty, a criminal misdemeanor will show up on your criminal record and through a background check. Combined with the fines and suspension of driving privileges, this can have a substantial and long-reaching impact on your quality of life.

      With the aid of an experienced and expert Washington DC fake ID/underage drinking lawyer, it may be possible to substitute diversion programs for these penalties or get the charges reduced or dismissed. Concerning misrepresentation of age, it is also possible to expunge the record of the offense.

      If you face charges of violating the underage drinking or misrepresentation of age laws in Washington DC, do not hesitate to contact the aggressive, experienced, and top-rated Washington DC fake ID and underage drinking lawyers at Ervin Kibria Law for a free initial consultation. We are always ready to hear your story and work with you to achieve the best outcome and perhaps even get your case dismissed.

      Washington DC Fake ID and Underage Drinking Lawyer