It’s one of the best kept secrets among Connecticut police precincts and prosecutor’s offices. For years, top Connecticut Fake ID and Forgery criminal lawyers have seen Greenwich, New Canaan, Stamford, Westport and Darien Connecticut teenagers and college students arrested for felony Forgery in the Second Degree, merely for possessing a Fake ID in their wallet.
But recently, top Connecticut criminal defense lawyers and attorneys have seen a trend where police and prosecutors are cutting teenagers and college students a break in prosecuting Connecticut Fake ID arrests. In many cases, they are coming off the felony charge and reducing the Connecticut Fake ID arrest to a misdemeanor, giving young Fake ID offenders a chance at a clean criminal record…
When police in Darien, New Canaan, Stamford, Greenwich Connecticut or campus police on Quinnipiac, UConn and Fairfield Universities find a Fake ID in someone’s wallet, their immediate reaction is to make an arrest for Forgery in the Second Degree under CGS 53a-139, a Class D Felony punishable by up to 5 years in jail. Even if your top criminal lawyer in New Canaan, Greenwich or at UConn, Yale or Quinnipiac can get your case dismissed later on, having a felony charge on your record for any amount of time can be a game-changer for any teenager or college student trying to get an internship or job.
Perhaps sensitive to the heavy-handedness of a Connecticut Fake ID Forgery arrest, police in New Canaan and other Connecticut towns have recently been open to the idea of charging a Forgery misdemeanor (specifically Forgery in the Third Degree under CGS 53-140), which simply accuses someone of possessing or presenting an altered or fake written instrument. This is in stark contrast to Forgery in the Second Degree which requires you to present or possess a fake or altered government document. So if you do get arrested in Connecticut for having a Fake ID, politely ask the officer to charge Third Degree rather than Second Degree.
Many of the best Fairfield County Connecticut criminal law firms know that if you are a first time offender and are arrested in Connecticut for Forgery Second Degree for having a Fake ID, then you can get your case dismissed by applying for a first time offenders program called Accelerated Rehabilitation (often called the “AR Program” in court). Applying for AR is not a guilty plea and once you complete the program (which typically lasts between 6 months and 2 years), then your Connecticut Forgery arrest will be dismissed and expunged. The problem is that if you apply for Accelerated Rehabilitation for a Forgery Second Degree arrest, then you can never apply for AR again in your life, and most of the top Connecticut criminal lawyers who appear in the Norwalk, Stamford, Danbury, and Bridgeport Connecticut criminal courts do not like burning their client’s AR program on something as harmless as a college kid having a Fake ID in their possession.
So this is when your top Connecticut forgery criminal attorney should attempt to persuade the prosecutor / state’s attorney to reduce the Forgery Second Degree charge to a Forgery Third Degree charge prior to you making the AR application. Under the Connecticut Accelerated Rehabilitation eligibility rules, you will then be eligible for AR again. (You can get AR again if you have previously used it for a misdemeanor, not a felony). It’s a strategic maneuver that gives you or your child extra cushion just in case they find themselves in trouble again.
While some of the strategies above are technical and nuanced, these considerations reflect just how critical it is to have an experienced Connecticut criminal lawyer fighting your or your child’s Connecticut Fake ID Forgery arrest. The team of criminal lawyers at Mark Sherman Law regularly assist Connecticut teenagers and college students throughout the entire State of Connecticut in dismissing their Fake ID arrests, getting their arrests off the internet and off Google, and keeping their AR eligibility intact whenever possible. Check out our glowing former Avvo.com-certified client reviews, and then contact a Connecticut Fake ID criminal lawyer at Mark Sherman Law today. We are available 24/7 at (203) 358-4700.