Florida law makes it a crime to make, sell, or possess a false identification card. This is commonly known as a possession of the fake ID charge. Most people that are arrested for this charge are either teenagers, trying to get into a club, or someone under 21 years of age, trying to buy alcohol. A lot of these people are college students, and have a lot to lose.
Possession of a Fake ID is a Felony in Florida
It is shocking to them and to their parents, once they are arrested for this charge, that Fake ID is really a felony in the State of Florida. Yes, as shocking as this sounds, a possession of a Fake ID is a felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and up to a $5000 fine. However, in most cases that is not what the person will be facing. The majority of people who are arrested for possession of a Fake ID have never been in trouble before. So there are a few options that may take place. The first one, where the only charge the person is facing is a possession of Fake ID, is a possibility of a pretrial diversion program. This program contemplates a contract between the defendant and the state attorney’s office. By virtue of this contract, the person will usually complete multiple hours of community service, pay fines, potentially undergo a drug or alcohol evaluation, and will be supervised for a year by a probation officer. The upside of this is that if everything is completed, the charges will be dropped by the state attorney’s office. Most importantly at the end of that process, if the program is completed successfully and the charges are dropped, we will be able to expunge the entire case. For a college student that is a huge deal for their future.
Because Fake ID is a felony, police cannot write a notice to appear, they have to arrest the person. So, it is very important to be able to expunge the case in the end, so the person can deny the arrest and the entire incident. Many times the person’s future career is at stake.
Another common scenario that comes up with an arrest for a Fake ID, is when an arrest is made in combination with something else. For example a young person is pulled over for DUI and happens to have a Fake ID inside his wallet. The person will be arrested for DUI and Fake ID, and in most cases both will go into felony court. However if the state attorney’s office decides to drop the felony case (fake ID) to a misdemeanor, both cases will go to County Court. In this scenario, where there are two different charges, most likely the state attorney’s office will try to use the Fake ID charge as a bargaining chip in the DUI case. They will try to say we will drop the Fake ID if you enter a plea to a DUI.
Seek Legal Advice Immediately
Of course, the best way to avoid being charged with a Fake ID felony is not to have one. However, as we know thousands of students these days have a Fake ID in their possession. A Fake ID charge in the state of Florida is very serious. That is why if your child has been arrested for this charge, seek legal advice immediately, because you don’t want to miss an opportunity to get your child into the pretrial diversion program or get the case dismissed.