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Son had a fake id taken from his possession (not used to…

Son had a fake...

Son had a fake id taken from his possession (not used to enter bar or purchase alcohol). Received letter from UofI police, facing 1 year suspension of driver's license. Did not receive ticket at time fake was taken away. Does the police need to prove he actual was in possession of the fake? Is it worth fighting this?

Lawyer's Assistant: Since laws vary from place to place, what state is this in? And when did this happen?

Illinois

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?

Mid September 2017

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Answered in 1 minute by:
10/31/2017
Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 31,300
Experience: Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
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Hi,

I'm Zoey.

I've reviewed your post. Please be patient as I may need to research for you, and it also takes time to compose and type a reply.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
I am standing by, take your time

Here is the statute that your son was charged with:

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0300-0399/0322/Sections/0322.212.html

As you can see, the state would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he knowingly possessed this. So, theoretically, at least, if it was not found on his person his lawyer might be able to frame a defense that he did not know of the ID and that he never possessed it, assuming your son wanted to take the case all the way to trial.

Of course, if your son did know about it and did possess it, he would not be able to testify at his trial, because a lawyer cannot suborn perjury. But your son has no obligation to testify and the judge or jury cannot hold his failure to testify against him. He would be entitled under US law to plead not guilty, remain silent, and leave it all to the state to try to show that he possessed it.

This is a criminal offense, which can be punishable as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the subsection charged. A conviction would subject your son to a criminal record. So it's worth his getting a lawyer and fighting the charges, at least to the extent of his being able to negotiate a deal with the DA which, if possible, would keep him from walking away with a criminal conviction on his record. He's a young man and a conviction can hurt him personally and professionally, even if he never serves so much as a second in jail.

Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 31,300
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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
They (Champaign police officer) is offering a fine if we meet to talk about origin of fake. He is saying 1 yr suspension of license is guaranteed. The loss of driving is biggest issue. Seems like conviction or not he will lose the license. Is that correct?

NO! If he pleads guilty to this charge, even if he only gets a fine as his penalty, he will have a criminal conviction on his record. NEVER take legal advice from the officer who's looking to arrest you. In the first place, he's not a lawyer. In the second place, it's in his interest to make your son face a conviction.

He can ALWAYS just pay a fine, even after this comes to court.

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If he's going to take a cooperation deal and give up the seller, he should do so through a lawyer and with a prosecutor. That way, he knows that the promise made to him will be kept since a lawyer is an officer of the court while the police are not and can lie. Also, he needs to try to keep the conviction off of his record as part of any deal, and that's not the police's call.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
The police officer is calling the fine a city ticket for "unlawful use of identification." No criminal record.
Customer reply replied 8 months ago
It seems that there are two separate actions happening. The possibility of criminal charges and the Secretary of State license suspension without any due process.
Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Do you have any further comments or advice?

From what I've found, this charge WILL appear on his criminal record. See 322.051(6)a The charge is a second degree misdemeanor.

The suspension of the license is part of the penalty for the crime. If he wants to avoid it, he has due process. He can plead not guilty and fight the case.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
The argument is that he didn't use the id or present the id? He did enter a bar (allowed if 19 yrs old) where the id was taken. Bouncer's word against him and very possibly video evidence. Wouldn't the result (felony conviction) be worse if they can prove he was present when the id was taken from him?
Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Thank you for your help. Signing off now.

Yes. If he had the ID on him and the bouncer took it from his possession and there was video evidence besides, he doesn't have a case that should be tried. That doesn't mean, however, that he has to take a deal which could give him a criminal conviction on his record. He can fight the case just long enough to have his lawyer cut him a deal that keeps him from getting a conviction.

Before your jump at the policeman's offer, at least have a consultation with a local criminal defense lawyer -- many of them are free or very inexpensive. I have seen many defendants burned by the police, when they don't honor a deal or when they DO, but down the road the defendant finds out that he could have avoided a conviction altogether.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
That is actually my next call, to a local attorney. Thanks

As for the suspension of a license, that is negotiable too. The DA may be willing to substitute another charge so that he avoids pleading to something that gives him a suspension. That's not something the police can do for him.

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