I receive phone calls on a regular basis from ASU students who have been cited for minor in possession of alcohol and possession of a fake ID. The story begins, “I was walking out of the grocery store….” That’s when I stop them, and ask, “was it the Safeway on Broadway and Southern.” Invariably, the potential client is amazed that I know the exact location.
The fact is, ASU police and Arizona Department of Liquor have stings where they wait outside this Safeway and watch for anyone who appears to be under 21 and asks them for identification. If they have alcohol, they ask how they purchased the alcohol, which leads the underage person to admit to using a fake ID.
There are several issues with this scenario, first and foremost, if this exact scenario has happened to you, you are facing a class 1 misdemeanor for possessing a fake ID and a class 2 misdemeanor for possessing alcohol. A conviction could lead to jail time, fines, probation etc. Second, even if you are not convicted, the Arizona Department of Liquor will forward your information to the Arizona MVD who will use their authority to suspend your license for 6 months. This is a straight 6 month suspension, which means, no driving whatsoever for 6 months – not even to work or school. Finally, you may have heard from your friends or read online about a diversion program. If your case has been assigned to the University Lakes Justice Court, YOU WILL NOT GET DIVERSION. The prosecutor at the University Lakes Justice Court does not offer diversion for people who have been charged with possession of a fake ID or false reporting.
This is a serious charge and you need to speak with a lawyer immediately. I have represented countless students for fake ID, minor consumption of alcohol and minor in possession of alcohol charges. If you try to handle this case on your own, you are playing with fire – there are no redos in the justice system. You need the assistance of an attorney.