In NYS, once you reach your 16th birthday, you are considered an adult in the criminal justice
system. That is, ALL 16 year olds who commit crimes are mandated to adult court
and face adult sentences
One of the big misunderstandings among non-lawyers is the idea that if you don't get your Miranda warnings, your case must be dismissed. That is not true. Miranda only stands for the proposition that a defendant need not be subjected to post arrest questioning. If he was never interrogated about the facts of the case after he was taken in, Miranda warnings don't even apply. If they did apply and your son gave a statement or signed a confession he wants to challenge, he can get a pre-trial
hearing and, if he is successful, can keep the statement or confession out of his trial. As you can see, even if there is a Miranda problem, his case can't go away. The fake ID all by itself is sufficient evidence for the DA's office to continue to go forward anyway.
Your son would likely be charged with Criminal Personation, which is a class B misdemeanor
. He does need a lawyer because he is only 16, and criminal cases can have lifetime consequences, but he should definitely be able to come out of this without a criminal record
Chances are that if he wants to dispose of the case rather than take it to trial, the DA will reduce the charge to a Disorderly Conduct
, which is a violation and not a crime and which would seal at the end of a year and not appear on his record. But even if the DA refuses to come off of the B misdemeanor and reduce this for the purposes of a disposition, a 16 year old who has no prior convictions would be eligible for youthful offender treatment, which will enable him to plead guilty to the charge but have the conviction to be removed from his record.