What are the California Rules for Minors and Fake IDs?
California Business and Professions Code 25661 covers the laws regarding the crime of minors having false identification cards.
Possession or presenting a fake ID by a minor can result in harsh penalties, such as losing driving privileges. Minors under 21 who possess or present false identification can face misdemeanor charges. There are two ways that somebody can violate this statute, such as by presenting a fake ID to a business to buy alcohol or possessing a fake ID.
Notably, a fake ID can be a false identification card or an actual identification card of someone else. So breaking this statute mostly means someone was caught with the fake ID in their hand or within reach.
Usually, the person accused of violating this law attempted to use the fake ID to do something requiring a minimum age of 21.
A first-time violation of a fake ID by a minor carries a fine of $250 or up to 32 hours of community service. Let's review this law further below.
What Are Some Examples?
Some of the most common examples of when minors under 21 can be charged with a fake ID crime include the following:
- Using the ID of a friend to buy alcohol;
- Using a fake driver's license to get into a local bar;
- Carrying a second false ID.
The above examples can result in misdemeanor charges for minors with a fake ID. However, most violations are actual possession, such as in their pocket.
What Are the Related Crimes?
Several California offenses are related to Business and Professions Code 25661 minor fake ID charges, which are discussed below.
BPC 256655 defines allowing a minor where alcohol is consumed, making it illegal for minors to be on the property of a business that sells alcohol for use on-site.
The owner and the minor could face a misdemeanor charge under this law. The owner could be sentenced to up to six months in jail and a fine of $1,000 if convicted. The minor could face a maximum fine of $200 but no jail time.
BPC 25662 defines minors in possession of alcohol, which makes it a crime for minors to possess alcohol in a public place, which includes a city park or beach.
A first offense is an infraction with a $250 fine and 24-32 hours of community service. Any subsequent offense is a misdemeanor crime with a $500 fine and 36-48 hours of community service but no jail time. Other related crimes include the following:
- BPC 25657(a) - solicitation sale of alcohol,
- BPC 25658(b) – purchase of alcohol by somebody under 21,
- Penal Code 470b PC – possession of fake ID,
- Vehicle Code 13004 VC – unlawful use of a fake ID card.
What are the Penalties for Fake IDs?
There are two types of fake ID penalties, including the following:
- First offense fake ID carries a maximum fine of $250 and 24-32 hours of community service;
- Second or subsequent offense of fake ID carries a maximum fine of $500 and 36-48 hours of community service.
Just to let you know, unless there are other related charges, there is no possible jail time for fake ID offenses in California.
What Are the Defenses for Fake IDs?
If you have been accused of fake ID by a minor charge, our California criminal defense lawyers can use different strategies, such as the following:
- It was not your fake ID;
- It was not in your possession;
- You are not a minor;
- You were not attempting to buy alcohol;
- The police conducted an illegal search.
Suppose one or more of these defenses applies to you. In that case, you might be able to avoid a conviction for a minor fake ID charge.
Suppose that there is a Constitutional violation, such as an illegal search. In that case, the court could dismiss the case after the defense's motion to suppress evidence.
If the court decides law enforcement obtained the fake ID due to an illegal search that violated the Fourth Amendment, the evidence can be excluded from the case. Typically, this means the case will be dismissed.
BPC 25661 only applies to minors. So if you were over 21 when the offense allegedly happened, you can't be convicted under this law but could face charges under another statute.
Perhaps we can make an argument against other elements of the crime. If you are facing charges under Business and Professions Code 25661 or a related offense, please contact us to review the case details and options. We offer a free case review by phone or through the contact form. Cron, Israels & Stark is based in Los Angeles, California.