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What are the consequences for using a fake ID to buy alcohol?

Most people in Philadelphia know that the legal drinking age is 21 years old. However, there are still many people under the age of 21 who consume alcohol. Underage drinking is a relatively common activity at the various colleges and universities in the Philadelphia area. However, as it is illegal for people under 21 to consume alcohol, it is also illegal for them to purchase it. So, in order to obtain the alcohol, people under 21 often resort to illegal means.

One way is to have people who are 21 buy it for them. Another way is to have a fake driver's license or state identification card. With a fake ID, the person can not only buy alcohol, but could also potentially go to bars and clubs as well, which brings an additional appeal.

However, possessing a fake ID is also illegal and the person may face serious consequences if they are caught with one. The person could lose their driver's license for a period of time and potentially pay fines as well. This includes those who are under 18 years old as well. If one is adjudicated delinquent they could face up to a $500 fine. Also, the police need to notify the person's parents of the charge if the person is under 18.

There may be defenses available to the person though. If the defense is successful, the charges may be dismissed. However, the person may also qualify for a pre-adjudication program. If the person successfully completes the program, the charges may be dismissed as well.

Many people in Philadelphia consume alcohol prior to their 21st birthday. In addition to consuming alcohol, many others have fake IDs in order to purchase alcohol and to get into bars and clubs. Convictions can carry significant penalties, but there are ways to minimize these consequences. Experienced attorneys understand the significance of these convictions and may be able to protect one's rights.

Source: Pennsylvania Legislature, "Pennsylvania Statute Title 18 6310.3", accessed May 31, 2016

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