While the allure of using a fake ID to gain access to age-restricted activities may seem tempting, the penalties for such actions in Texas are nothing to take lightly. Understanding the full scope of Texas fake ID laws and their penalties can be vital for anyone, particularly those under the age of 21.
Wilco Fake ID Defense Attorneys
The criminal defense attorneys at Price & Twine, PLLC defend those charged with possessing a fake ID in Texas, including juvenile offenders. Our firm proudly serves the communities of Georgetown, Leander, Round Rock, Cedar Park and the surrounding areas of Williamson County or “Wilco” Texas. If you or a loved one has been charged with violating Texas’ fake ID laws, reach out to our firm by calling (512) 354-1880 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case with a criminal defense lawyer.
Fake ID Information Center
- Texas Transportation Code: Understanding Violations In Depth
- Traps in the Application Process: False Application for Driver’s License or Certificate
- Misrepresentation of Age for Alcohol Purchase
- Texas Fake ID Attorney: Exploring Defenses
- Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Texas Fake ID Laws
A primary law that deals with fake IDs is Texas Transportation Code Section 521.451. This statute covers a variety of offenses related to driver’s licenses and personal identification cards. For example, displaying or possessing a fake or altered driver’s license is a violation and may result in fake ID charges. Furthermore, lending your own license to another person or using someone else’s license as if it were your own is also an offense under this section.
Penalties For Broad Violations
Violation of Section 521.451 is classified as a Class A misdemeanor in Texas. A Class A misdemeanor could result in a fine up to $4,000, confinement in jail for up to one year, or both. Therefore, the stakes are high, and the consequences can be long-lasting, including a potential criminal record.
Targeting The Youth: Fictitious License Or Certificate Specifics
For those under the age of 21, Texas Transportation Code Section 521.453 is particularly important. It specifically states that possession of a document deceptively similar to an identification certificate or driver’s license with the intent to present oneself as 21 or older is a criminal offense.
Penalties For Underage Violations
A violation under this section is classified as a Class C misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine not exceeding $500. Importantly, the law also includes provisions for community service. First-time offenders under the age of 21 may be required to perform eight hours of community service. For those with previous offenses, the community service requirement goes up to 12 hours.
Texas Transportation Code Section 521.454 is another statute to be aware of, especially during the application process for an identification certificate or driver’s license. Submitting false information knowingly during the application process falls under this section.
Penalties for False Applications
A violation here is considered a Class A misdemeanor, similar to expansive violations under Section 521.451. Again, penalties could include a fine up to $4,000, up to one year in jail, or both.
Not to be overlooked, Section 106.07 of the Alcoholic Beverage Code is also essential when discussing fake ID laws in Texas. It makes it an offense for a minor to misrepresent their age for purchasing alcohol.
Penalties Specific To Alcohol-Related Offenses
The penalties for offenses under this section are specified in Section 106.071 of the Alcoholic Beverage Code. Conviction could result in a fine between $250 and $2,000, confinement in jail for up to 180 days, or both. Furthermore, a convicted minor could face a driver’s license suspension for 30 days for a first offense, 60 days for a second offense, and 180 days for subsequent offenses.
Challenging The Element Of Intent
For an individual to be convicted under Section 521.451, the prosecution must prove that the accused intended to use or possess a fake or altered ID. In the absence of intent, a defense attorney can argue that the charge should be dropped. For example, if someone mistakenly displayed a fake ID believing it to be legitimate, the element of intent would be missing.
Texas Transportation Code Section 521.453: Underage Fictitious License Or Certificate
This section applies specifically to minors under the age of 21 who possess a fake ID with the intent to represent themselves as older.
Proving Lack Of Deceptive Intent
One of the key defenses for a violation under this section would be proving that the ID was not deceptively similar to a real ID, or that the minor did not intend to use it to misrepresent their age.
False Application Under Texas Transportation Code Section 521.454
If you’re charged with submitting a false application for an identification certificate or driver’s license, there are some defenses specific to this statute as well.
Demonstrating Honest Mistake Or Lack Of Knowledge
To be convicted under this statute, an individual must have knowingly submitted false information. A defense strategy here could be demonstrating that any false information was an honest mistake or that the accused did not know the information was incorrect at the time of submission.
Alcohol-Related Offenses: Section 106.07 Of The Alcoholic Beverage Code
This statute makes it an offense for a minor to misrepresent their age to purchase alcohol.
Raising Questions About The Sales Transaction
A defense attorney may argue that there was no clear misrepresentation of age. For instance, if the vendor did not ask for identification and sold alcohol to a minor, it could be a valid defense under this section.
Q. What Constitutes A Fake ID In Texas?
A. Under Section 521.451 of the Texas Transportation Code, a fake ID is defined as an identification certificate or driver’s license that is either fictitious or has been altered. This also includes displaying an ID that belongs to someone else.
Q. What Are The Penalties For Possessing A Fake ID?
A. According to Section 521.451(b), possessing a fake ID in Texas is generally considered a Class A misdemeanor. This can result in penalties including up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000.
Q. Are There Specific Laws For Minors With Fake IDs?
A. Yes, Section 521.453 specifically targets minors (individuals under 21) who possess fake IDs with the intent to represent themselves as 21 or older. Violation of this section is a Class C misdemeanor. A court may also mandate community service for minors convicted under this section.
Q. Can I Be Charged For Lying On My Driver’s License Application?
A. Yes, under Section 521.454, knowingly providing false information on an application for a renewal, original, or driver’s license duplicate is a Class A misdemeanor, with the same penalties as mentioned above for possessing a fake ID.
Q. What Happens If I Use A Fake ID To Buy Alcohol?
A. If a minor uses a fake ID to purchase alcohol, the charges could fall under Section 106.07 of the Alcoholic Beverage Code. This offense is punishable as per Section 106.071, which could include fines, community service, and alcohol awareness programs. If the conduct also violates Section 521.451, the offender can only be prosecuted under the Alcoholic Beverage Code, as per Section 521.451(c).
Q. Are There Legal Defenses Available?
A. Yes, a qualified Texas criminal defense attorney can help you explore several defenses. These could include challenging the element of intent, demonstrating lack of deceptive intent, or arguing that the false information was given unknowingly or as an honest mistake.
Q. Can A Peace Officer Confiscate My Fake ID?
A. According to Section 521.453(c), a peace officer has the right to confiscate any document that is deceptively similar to an identification certificate or real driver’s license if it does not meet the specific requirements outlined in the statute.
Hiring an Attorney for Fake ID Defense in Court | Price & Twine
Understanding Texas fake ID laws can be challenging. Given the severity of the penalties involved, it’s essential to consult with qualified Texas fake ID attorneys to navigate the complexities of these statutes. Legal professionals can provide detailed explanations and defense strategies tailored to your specific case.
If you’re facing legal challenges that require skilled representation, don’t navigate the complicated legal system alone. At Price & Twine, PLLC, we focus on criminal defense law in Williamson or Bell County Texas ensuring our clients rights are safeguarded every step of the way. Our lawyers possess the experience and expertise needed to build a strong case to strive for the most favorable outcome possible. Act now and make a critical difference in your case. Contact us today at (512) 354-1880 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.