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Union County NJ Criminal Defense Lawyers

Over 200 Years Combined Experience

Former County & Municipal Prosecutors

False Identification

Rahway NJ Fake ID Defense Lawyer

False identification charges were once limited to those seeking to purchase alcohol underage (i.e under twenty-one years old) but now arises in much broader contexts in Union County municipal courts. Tightened regulations for securing valid identification, for example, the 6 Point Id Verification adopted by the State of New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (“NJDMV”), have led to an increased demand for fraudulent driver licenses and other forms of identification. Irrespective of your motivation for possessing a false/fake ID, you face significant penalties if convicted in Westfield, Cranford, Springfield, Rahway, Union or another court. In fact, you can even face a second degree crime at the Union County Superior Court if you have been charged with selling fake or fraudulent documents. This is why it is so crucial to hire a defense lawyer who is equipped with the tools to effectively defend you. The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall is a highly qualified criminal firm with an office in Union Township. Several attorneys on our staff are former prosecutors and make up a team of eight with over 100 years of experience. Every lawyer at the firm has handled many fake ID, identity theft and similar charges. To speak to an attorney immediately, all us at 908-272-1700.

Forged or Fraudulent Driver’s License, Birth Certification or Governmental Documents to Verify Identity

Displaying, possessing, selling or manufacturing a forged or fraudulent (a.k.a. fake) driver’s license, birth certification or other governmental document used to verify someone’s identity is illegal under N.J.S.A. 2C:21-2.1. This statute sets forth four (4) varieties of fake Id violation, each of which are explained in the following subheadings.

i. Selling Fake Identification

Subsection (a) of the forged identification law is directed at those who sell or possess, with the intention of selling or distributing, a fraudulent document which falsely appears to be a driver’s license, birth certificate or other document issued by a governmental agency. An individual who engages in this conduct is exposed to a second degree crime. There are four (4) elements that must be established by the prosecutor to convict someone of this second degree crime, including: (1) that the document appeared to be one issued by a government agency; (2) it was forged/fake; (3) the item is identification used to verify a person’s identity or age or personal information; and (4) the accused sold, offered or exposed for sale the document, or possessed it with the intention to do so. A conviction for selling a fake id is a second degree crime that carries a $150,000 fine and 5-10 years in state prison.

ii. Manufacturing False Identification

Subsection (b) also makes it a second degree crime to manufacture or possess materials/devices to fabricate a document or writing which falsely purports to be official documentation to verify an individual’s identity. The material elements that must be established to prove this variety of fake ID offense are essentially the same as those for selling these documents except that the fourth element is that the defendant made, or possessed a device or material to make, such a document. The same second degree penalties apply to this variety of forged identification offense.

iii. Displaying or Attempting To Use a False ID

Subsection (c) addresses the charge that comprises that largest block of N.J.S.A. 2C:21-2.1 offenses in the state; namely, displaying or attempting to use a false id.  In order to prove someone guilty of using fake identification, the elements are similar to those previously set forth except that the conduct doesn’t involve distributing or manufacturing but rather trying to use a fake birth certificate, driver’s license or other government document. The penalties for a third degree false identification charge include a fine of as much as $15,000 and a period of incarceration that can reach five (5) years.

iv. Possessing False Identification

Subsection (d) concerns those who possess forged or fraudulent driver’s licenses and other forms of official documents. If you knowingly possesses, but do not display a false ID, you are exposed to a fourth degree crime. Possession of identification which violates this section results in a felony and maximum penalties that include a $10,000 fine and up to 18 months in jail.

Exception For Cases Involving Underage Possession or Consumption of Alcohol

Displaying or possessing a fake, forged or fraudulent id is not a violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:21-2.1 if the offense is committed by someone who is utilizing the identification to purchase or consume alcohol while underage in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:33-15.

Springfield NJ Forged ID Attorney

There are NJDMV offices in both the Township of Springfield and the City of Rahway to obtain driver’s licenses so it naturally makes sense that these municipalities have more forged, fraudulent and fake identification charges than most. You should contact the skilled lawyers at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall if you were arrested for this charge in these towns of another one in Union County, for example, New Providence, Summit, Roselle, Kenilworth or Mountainside. An attorney with the knowledge and familiarity to avoid a conviction is prepared to discuss your options. Call us for immediate assistance at 908-272-1700.

If you were arrested and charged with selling, possessing or displaying a false identification in Westfield, Cranford, Springfield, Rahway, Union, Berkeley Heights, Garwood, Summit, Fanwood, Roselle, New Providence, Mountainside, Kenilworth or Scotch Plains, contact our Union Township Office, 2204 Morris Avenue Suite 310 Union, New Jersey 07083, at 908-272-1700.