Group Picture of The Law Offices of Mark Sherman, LLC

Connecticut Fake ID Arrests (Part 1 of 2)

Connecticut Fake ID Arrests
(Part 1 of 2)

Fake ID arrests of teenagers and students in Connecticut colleges, universities, and high schools is the new normal in Fairfield, Storrs, New Haven and other college towns in Connecticut. Campus life can often extend beyond the borders of the towns that these colleges and universities call home. As a result, top New Haven and Storrs Connecticut criminal lawyers and attorneys often see under 21 students trying to get into bars and clubs, presumably just to have a good time. But as any of the best New Haven and Storrs Connecticut criminal lawyers would concede, having a Fake ID in your wallet or purse can get you arrested in Connecticut for possessing a Fake ID and Forgery at UConn, Fairfield University, Quinnipiac, Yale, Southern Connecticut State University, Wesleyan, University of New Haven, or Sacred Heart University.

What Connecticut college students arrested for Fake IDs do not appreciate is that Connecticut Fake ID arrests are extremely serious. It’s actually a felony. If you are arrested for using or even possessing a Fake ID, you can be charged and possibly convicted of a Class D felony, soiling your professional reputation and job prospects and thus undermining everything you have worked so hard for in high school and college. So if you are arrested in Stamford, Greenwich, Storrs, or Fairfield for Forgery and Possession of a Fake ID, then you should consult a top Stamford, Storrs, New Canaan, Bridgeport or Norwalk criminal lawyer attorney to help you try and get your Connecticut Fake ID arrest dismissed as quickly as possible.

Forgery in the Second Degree

As the top Greenwich, Darien and New Canaan Connecticut criminal lawyers can confirm, there is no “Fake ID” crime in the Connecticut penal code. Rather, the crime is classified as felony Forgery. There are three degrees of forgery – First Degree Forgery, codified in C.G.S. 53a-138; Forgery in the Second Degree, C.G.S. 53a-139 (which punishes Fake ID crimes); and Forgery in the Third Degree, set forth in C.G.S. 53a-140. For the purposes of this article on Fake IDs, only Forgery in the Second Degree will be discussed. Click here for a more in-depth discussion of Forgery arrests in Stamford, Greenwich and Darien Connecticut.

If you are arrested for a Fake ID in Stamford, Fairfield, Greenwich or New Canaan Connecticut, then you should expect to be arrested in Connecticut for Second Degree Forgery under C.G.S. 53a-139. The title of this statute, “Forgery in the Second Degree” might be confusing because most people do not know that a Fake ID arrest can actually involve the act of Forgery. Second Degree Forgery covers a few different scenarios. For example, if you manufacture a fake deed, will, public record or even a prescription for medicine, you can be charged with Second Degree Forgery. Getting arrested for a Fake ID falls under C.G.S. 53a-139, subsection (3), which prohibits making, possessing or altering an official government-issued document, with the intent to deceive someone. Government documents include passports, identification cards, driver’s licenses and social security cards, to name a few.

Is a Fake ID Arrest Really a Felony?

Top Connecticut criminal lawyers get a lot of calls from students asking if Fake ID arrests are actually felonies. It might seem hard to believe and quite frankly, a bit strange, to a UConn or Fairfield University student arrested for a Fake ID or Second Degree Forgery to learn that possessing or using a Fake ID to get into a bar can actually land you up to 5 years in prison. Second Degree Forgery arrests in Connecticut are Class D Felonies, which means a conviction for using, making or possessing a Fake ID is punishable by up to 5 years in prison, a $5,000 fine and probation.

So why is having a Fake ID such a serious crime in Connecticut? As the best New Canaan, Rockville and Wilton Connecticut criminal lawyers would likely agree, it’s because lawmakers see Fake IDs as the lock and key to underage drinking. When UConn and Yale police make Fake ID arrests, their primary concern is to curtail and deter underage drinking, drug use, sex assaults, and under 21 DUIs and DWIs. It’s not the actual Forgery that’s the problem; rather, the consequences and dangers of underage drinking are what parents and police are looking to deter. So here’s when your top Stamford Connecticut criminal lawyer enters the conversation—they will gracefully help you craft a defense to your child’s Connecticut Fake ID arrest around these valid safety concerns. They will illustrate that while a lesson has been learned, a complete dismissal and erasure of your child’s Fake ID arrest is still necessary. To learn more about why Fake ID arrests are felonies, visit the blog entry “A Connecticut Fake ID Arrest is a Felony.

Can I Get Arrested in Connecticut for Just Having a Fake ID in My Wallet or Purse?

Yes. Some UConn, Fairfield University, Yale, Quinnipiac or Sacred Heart college students might wonder why they were arrested in Connecticut for Second Degree Forgery Fake ID 53a-139 charges if they did not actually present their Fake IDs to anyone. They didn’t show it at the bar. They didn’t present it to the police when asked for their identification. They didn’t show it to anyone. Unfortunately, none of that matters. You can be arrested in Connecticut for 53a-129 Second Degree Forgery even if you are just in possession of a Fake ID.

The obvious next question is how can the police even know that you have a Fake ID, especially if you have it stashed away in your wallet or car??? Here’s a typical scenario: you get pulled over for a speeding ticket…you open your wallet in front of the police officer to hand over your driver’s license…. the officer spots a Fake ID. The officer may then ask you to see that Fake ID, which can result in you being arrested in Storrs, Fairfield, or Stamford for Forgery in the Second Degree. It is important to know that a police officer’s right to look through your wallet is not absolute. If they ask to see what’s in your wallet, you have the constitutional right to say NO. If this becomes an issue in your 53a-129 Second Degree Forgery arrest, then your top Greenwich, New Canaan, Westport or Danbury criminal attorney will closely examine these questionable search and seizure tactics of law enforcement to determine whether there has been an unlawful search and seizure. If your attorney believes an improper search was conducted, than they will make the proper motions to suppress and dismiss your Connecticut Fake ID arrest.

Continue Reading…Fake Id Arrests, Part 2 of 2
(Fighting Connecticut Fake ID Arrests, Internet Scrubbing Fake ID / Forgery Arrests and much more)