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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 23142
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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what would happen if you got caught with a fake id in texas Im not a citizen, just

Resolved Question:

what would happen if you got caught with a fake id in texas?
I'm not a citizen, just a legal resident for 1 year.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 5 years ago.

If you're talking about a fake government ID of some sort, then you could be charged with a felony and a conviction could get you deported. Here's Texas Penal Code 37.10
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Ok i've read over that link briefly and i have a couple of questions,
1. is it the same felony whether i alter one i have or just get a fake one made?
2. Can bouncers at clubs or bars take any action if they do realize it's fake?
3. Finally, can an officer search my wallet if he thinks i have another id?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 5 years ago.

As you can see from the statute, someone who " makes, presents, or uses any record, document, or thing with knowledge of its falsity and with intent that it be taken
as a genuine governmental record;
" can be charged with a felony. That means that even if you haven't printed the document, if you knowingly present it as your ID knowing it's false, or Use it with the intent to establish that it's your real ID, you can be prosecuted.

If you're doing this to get into a a club because you're under 21, it's a really silly thing for you to do. Maybe the bouncer would just turn you away and that would be the end of that. But maybe also, he'd call the police. The police can likely spot a fake ID whether you are carrying another or not. But yes they can as you to turn over other identification and they can arrest you. As a non-citizen, you are not in the same position as a citizen of this country. If you are using the document to commit a fraud, this could be at the very least a state jail felony, which could carry a maximum 2 year prison sentence.

According to 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(P), INA § 101(a)(43)(P) A conviction for using or creating false documents is an aggravated felony if the term of imprisonment is at least a year.

Additionally, even if you were only charged with a misdemeanor a fraud offense is always a crime of moral turpitude, and you could be deportable for a misdemeanor conviction if you've been here for less than 5 years and potentially receive a sentence of a year or more.

I cannot imagine any club that's worth the risk you are considering taking if you are a student in this country hoping for a successful career.

Edited by FranL on 1/2/2011 at 5:59 AM EST
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Ok so let's say i dont get a fake id, what's the penalty if i get caught drinking at a club? not a dwi that's out of the question, just underage drinking in texas...taking into account i have no prior record.
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 5 years ago.
That would be a misdemeanor, but you could likely get into a diversion program and get it dismissed after a period of probation, a fine, anti-alcohol classes and community service. If you could get a diversion disposition, it should not cause you to fall out of status and be unable to return here if you leave the US. Can I guarantee you'd get a diversion disposition? Nope. And neither can you.

But in any case, what you want to do is break the law. And there isn't a lawyer on earth who is going to tell you it's a bright thing to do. Criminal convictions can have lifetime repercussions. They leave a trail and in the case of a non-citizen, it is always more complicated.

It's 1:15 AM here, and I"m turning in for the night. If you need to know anything further, I'll respond in the morning.

Edited by FranL on 1/2/2011 at 6:17 AM EST
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