Connecticut ID Forgery Lawyer
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 theft 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.
Fighting Connecticut Fake ID Arrests
A top Stamford, Greenwich, Westport or Danbury Fake ID criminal lawyer knows that the best outcome in a Fake ID case involving a college student is a complete dismissal of your Connecticut Fake ID Forgery arrest. Getting a Connecticut Fake ID arrest dismissed can be accomplished through a variety of methods. First, your top Wilton or Westport Connecticut forgery criminal lawyer will carefully review the police reports and eyewitness statements. Were your constitutional rights violated? Did police have probable cause or consent to search your car, wallet or purse? Did you have the necessary “intent to deceive” required to be arrested for the Fake ID / Connecticut Forgery crime? If any of these issues are in dispute, then you may be able to get your case dismissed.
Another path to dismissal of your Connecticut Fake ID Forgery arrest is the Pre-Trial Accelerated Rehabilitation Program (also known as “AR”). To apply for AR in Connecticut, you must not have any prior convictions. Another requirement for eligibility is that the offense you are facing is not so serious as to warrant the denial of your program application. Obviously, every felony is serious (otherwise it would be a misdemeanor), but your top Rockville, Wilton or Westport criminal lawyer attorney is usually skilled in persuading a judge that you should be given a chance to participate in the AR Program in spite of the felony charge. Once your eligibility is determined, then your top New Canaan and Darien criminal attorney can convince the judge that you will not offend again in the future. If the judge is convinced, then your AR application will be granted for a period of time of up to 2 years, and additional conditions may also be imposed such as alcohol education classes or community service hours. If you remain arrest-free for the full two years and comply with all of your AR Program conditions, then your Forgery Fake ID arrest will be dismissed and expunged.
Obviously for a college or high school student, 2 years can be quite a long time, and your pending Connecticut Fake ID arrest case can materially interfere with your job search, employment and internship background checks, and overall employment prospects. You might be graduating, applying to graduate school, medical school or law school, or you might be applying for your dream job, which will require any number of high-level background checks–all situations that will be affected by your pending case. You will need a much shorter AR time period such a 3 to 6 months so that you can apply to grad school and apply for jobs with a completely clean record. That’s why it’s critical to have any of the best Stamford Connecticut criminal lawyer handling your Fake ID arrest to ensure that you do not receive the maximum 2-year term for your AR program.
Internet Scrubbing for Dismissed Fake ID / Forgery Arrests in Connecticut
After your Connecticut Fake ID arrest is finally dismissed—whether by means of AR or otherwise—your Connecticut Forgery arrest will be expunged and erased pursuant to Connecticut’s Erasure Statute. In fact, under this statute, you can actually swear under oath, under penalties of perjury, that you have never even been arrested in Connecticut for having a Fake ID! But how can you really do this if there are still remnants of your Connecticut Fake ID arrest lingering on the internet, popping up in Google searches, and are otherwise available for future employers to view? The team of internet scrubbing lawyers at Mark Sherman Law have been paving the way in Connecticut for relief on this issue, helping clients remove online reports of their dismissed arrest from the internet. It’s not easy, and we can never guarantee success, but a quick look at our website testimonials will illustrate some of our most satisfied internet scrubbing customers. We will make every effort to get every last remaining post of your arrest and charges off the Internet. To learn more about our Internet Scrubbing work, click here.
Do I Need to Hire A College School Discipline or Expulsion Lawyer in Connecticut If I Got Arrested for a Fake ID / Forgery Charge?
Possibly. Whenever a high school or college student is arrested for a felony like a Connecticut Fake ID Forgery arrest under CGS 53a-139, there is always a chance UConn, Fairfield University, Quinnipiac, Yale, or any of the other Connecticut universities will initiate expulsion or school discipline proceedings against your child. Additionally, many schools and universities impose a duty upon your child to report their arrest to the Dean of Students. This duty is usually spelled out clearly in your child’s student handbook. The team of Connecticut school expulsion and discipline lawyers and attorneys at Mark Sherman Law regularly advise families during the school discipline process, especially when your college student has been arrested in Connecticut for a felony or misdemeanor. Our ultimate goal is keeping your child enrolled in college, and preventing any kind of suspension, expulsion or negative marking on your child’s college transcript. Click here to learn more about Mark Sherman Law’s School Discipline practice.
Contact a Fake ID Criminal Lawyer at Mark Sherman Law Today
So if you or your child have been arrested in Fairfield, Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan or Wilton Connecticut for using a Fake ID to buy beer or to get into a bar or club, then you should contact a Fake ID criminal lawyer at Mark Sherman Law today. Our team of Connecticut Fake ID and Forgery criminal lawyers offer extensive experience in fighting Connecticut Fake ID arrests, both in the courtroom, as well as in Connecticut school expulsion and disciplinary proceedings. We work closely with families to try to get Fake ID arrests dismissed as quickly as possible, never settling for 2 year AR programs. Your child’s future is our top priority. And after we get your child’s case dismissed, we can work with you to try and wipe the internet clean of all mentions of their Connecticut Fake ID / Forgery arrest. So call us today to consult with one of our Fake ID criminal attorneys. We are available 24/7 to take your call at (203) 358-4700.