It can be frustrating to be excluded from entering certain establishments or attending events due to your age, but it is a rite of passage everyone must go through. Until you are 21, there are many places you cannot go in Tempe, even when your friends that are just a little bit older can. It can be tempting to use an ID of a friend that looks like you, or have a fake ID created that says you are 21 to go to a club or buy alcohol. But if you are charged with using a fake ID in Tempe, you could be facing some long-term penalties for your impatience.
MIP for Fake ID Use
When you use a fake ID to try to buy alcohol or gain access to an establishment that sells alcohol, you can be facing a Minor in Possession charge or MIP if you are caught. It does not matter whether you consume alcohol or not; the action of trying to get inside a bar or buy alcohol with fake identification is a misdemeanor charge. A MIP does not necessarily mean you have possession of alcohol. It is often only that you were in the presence of alcohol. If you also consume alcohol, you could be facing an additional Minor in Consumption or MIC charge, with additional fines and penalties.
The MIP law in Arizona is strict to reduce the number of minors with access to alcohol. Since there is a large population of students and minors in Tempe, it is common for the police to be actively enforcing this law by watching for attempts to enter bars or for minors asking those of legal age to buy them alcohol. MIP is enforced under A.R.S. 4-241 L-N and can impose a class 1 or class 3 misdemeanor for the following actions:
- Minors using a false or fake ID to try to purchase alcohol can face a class 1 misdemeanor
- Minors using a false or fake ID to try to enter an establishment for those over 21 years of age can result in a class 1 misdemeanor
- Minors soliciting someone over 21 to buy them alcohol can result in a class 3 misdemeanor
A fake ID can be either an ID that was falsely obtained or created to make the minor appear over the age of 21. It can also be a legal ID of someone else that the minor is using as their own to pretend to be over the age of 21. Either way, it can lead to a MIP arrest and the same possible consequences.
If you have been charged with using a fake ID as part of your MIP in Tempe, you are facing a class 1 misdemeanor. This can have a penalty of up to six months in jail and up to a $2,500 fine. This is a steep penalty, and it can impact your life, both now and in the future. You could risk losing your job or enrollment in school if you need to spend time in jail. Plus, a misdemeanor will be on your record for the rest of your life, impacting possible job opportunities and other aspects of life that require a criminal background check.
What to Do If You Are Charged with Using a Fake ID
Everyone makes mistakes and it is unfortunate if one poor decision impacts your future. While it is easy to have 20/20 hindsight on what you should have done, if you have been charged with a MIP for using a fake ID, you must look forward at your options. Simply pleading guilty and paying the penalties can have much longer impacts than you may realize. Instead, getting legal representation is the best course of action to minimize the damage of your mistake.
There are ways to fight a MIP to have it reduced or dismissed. Your attorney can listen to your story and investigate the circumstances to determine the best way to fight your case. In some instances, you may qualify for a diversion program to keep the misdemeanor off your record. There are also legal strategies that can be used to disprove the allegations. If there is any way to keep a misdemeanor off your permanent record, it is worth the effort; even if you plead guilty to a lesser charge.
Call an Experienced Arizona MIP Attorney
If you have been charged with using a fake ID in Tempe, find out your options for having your MIP reduced or dismissed by calling Matthew Lopez Law. We handle many MIP and MIC cases for our young clients in the Tempe area; finding the best solutions to help them put a poor decision in their past and keep it from affecting their future. Contact our office to talk to one of our legal team – we offer free consultations to discuss your case.