In Annapolis and the nearby areas of Maryland, most people are generally aware of the laws related to driving under the influence. They will also understand that people under the age of 21 who are caught drinking and driving will face charges under the state’s “Zero Tolerance” policy. However, an understated and often forgotten aspect of these cases is how the underage person got the alcohol in the first place. If it was done with a fake identification card or a person who is legally able to purchase alcohol provided it, then the individuals who furnished the ID or the alcohol can be arrested. With charges related to these issues, it is imperative to understand their severity.
How fake IDs are handled under Maryland criminal law
For a person under the age of 21 who is found to be in possession of a fake ID, there is the chance they will be fined and imprisoned. The fine will be for up to $500 and the prison sentence might be up to two months. In addition, this will impact their driver’s license. They will have 12 points on their license and there can be a suspension or revocation. With 12 points, it is possible to ask for a hearing or to take part in the Ignition Interlock Program. Points on a license generally result in significantly higher insurance costs.
People can also face charges for selling a fake ID. The penalties are severe with those arrested and convicted confronted with the potential for a $2,000 fine and up to two years in prison for every fake ID that was sold. If the person was selling these IDs, the long-term consequences can be extensive. Finally, simply providing a person who is under 21 with alcohol can lead to a fine of $2,500 for a first offense and double that for a second offense or beyond.
Defending against alcohol-related charges
When people think of underage alcohol-related charges, they will automatically believe it is due to drunk driving or drinking underage. They frequently forget that it can also be problematic if the person simply had a fake ID, for those who gave the alcohol to the underage person or gave them an ID that lets them buy it themselves. Being convicted yields surprisingly harsh ramifications. With that, it is vital to craft a criminal defense. There might be a reasonable explanation, the evidence might be lacking or there could be plea bargains available. Having help in scrutinizing the case and forging a strategy is imperative and those accused should begin this process immediately.