The University of Georgia has been the recent subject of a fake ID ring bust. The ring sold more than 600 IDs and made “six figures” reaching four different states, according to UGA Chief of Police Jimmy Williamson. The 600-ID figure only reflected what the police were able to prove from beginning of the ring’s infiltration to its end, suspecting more were probably involved.
Florida Statutes, Section 322.212 criminalizes, and makes a felony, the making, selling, or possession of a false identification card. Typically, this statute will be applied to underage college students or high-school teenagers attempting to gain entry into a bar or club. “Fake I.D.’s” are fairly common, but arrests should be rare.
The situation leading up to the arrest is often similar: an underage person walks into a store, restaurant, or club, hands the fake ID to the person required to check the I.D., and that person realizes the I.D. is fake. Sometimes the ID’s will be confiscated by the bouncer or bar security and the matter goes no father. Florida Fake ID arrests usually come however, when the patron refuses to leave or engages in an altercation with the bar/nightclub staff. At this point officers become involved and often charge the individual with this offense, as well as trespassing, or other minor misdemeanor offenses. This is scenario is typically how persons in Jacksonville are arrested for having a Fake ID.
The decision to prosecute these cases as felonies was an unfortunate decision by the Legislature. In an attempt to crack down on those who manufacture the fraudulent IDs, the State ends up charging teenagers and 20 year olds with attempting to get into clubs with fake IDs. It is likely that virtually no one who tries to pass a fake ID has any idea they are committing a felony in Florida.
Many Florida driver licenses are indeed fake, and now are being more and more commonly spotted by security features that are being used by not only Florida, but 47 other states in the U.S. Doormen at night clubs and police officers that stop one’s vehicle for any infraction are being trained to spot the increasingly tough to distinguish fake I.D.s.
One particular way law enforcement or anyone required to check one’s I.D. can tell the validity of one’s Driver’s license is by looking at the micro print security feature with a magnifier. Many times, by looking at the I.D. with such a magnifier, the law enforcement officer will be able to instantly recognize the I.D. as being counterfeit. At this point, normally one is then placed under arrest for presenting a fake ID.
IDchief, a website designed to facilitate such fake I.D. sales, as well as thousands of other companies like it are responsible for the ease of access and thus ease of the charge resulting from the badly created I.D. Companies like IDChief give incentives to customers to buy more of these fake I.D.s, resulting in many of these college students buying their IDs at the same time in order to receive group discounts.
These Asian-based Web-sites offer good quality IDs for a reasonable price. These fake IDs possess several of the security features of genuine IDs. To the cursory examiner, the ID looks good. It has bright, easily seen holograms and UV features. It looks professionally made so teenagers will not fear in showing it to a bouncer or server at a restaurant.
Many of the accused parties that enter the court system for this charge are in their early years, between the ages of 16 and 20 years old. Many of these counterfeit Florida driver licenses will say the holder is legal to drink but still young enough to appear the age, many times claiming 21 or 22.
Many youth charged with this particular do not realize both the consequences associated with the court system but also the consequences at home. For many, this involves a severe amount of shame and guilt from one’s family, as well as a record of crimes of dishonesty that do not go away so easily.
One in a situation such as this should obtain an experienced Jacksonville fake ID crimes defense attorney to fight the case. The evidence usually does not look good for someone accused of possession of a fake I.D.; however, if the police mishandled the evidence in any way, the evidence may be excluded, making a fake I.D. charge hard to prove if there has been mishandled and therefore inadmissible evidence. If one is under investigation or has been arrested on fake I.D. charges, one will need to obtain an experienced Jacksonville false identification crimes defense attorney to fight the case.
The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for years and are here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one require a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.
Additional Source: One ring to fool them all: indicted fake ID students spread across four states, Cailin O’Brien, The Red&Black