When you send your child away to college, you likely worry about a lot of things, like their social life or their academic work. One thing you probably do not often worry about is that they might face disciplinary action by the college.
Unfortunately, underage drinking is a big problem in Orlando, both on college campuses and elsewhere. Florida treats underage drinking as a crime, and people caught using false identification to drink or buy alcohol can face criminal charges.
When you are not from Florida and your child is facing charges related to their use of false identification, you might wonder how a fake ID charge will affect an out-of-state or international student. A dedicated college student defense attorney could help you understand the relevant laws and guide your child through the legal process in the hopes of obtaining the best possible outcome.
Most people who are not Florida residents think that using a false identification card will get them a minor slap on the wrist. As a student, you might be more worried about what your parents will think than about any potential legal consequences. However, the penalties for using a fake ID to get into an over-21 bar or nightclub or to buy alcohol are quite severe. Florida courts usually treat the use of a fake ID as a third degree felony offense, as set forth in Florida Statutes § 322.212.
Convicted offenders who are caught with a false identification card or someone else’s driver’s license could face up to five years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines. In addition to facing criminal penalties, you could also lose your driver’s license for up to a year.
A conviction could follow you for the rest of your life. With a criminal record, you might find it hard to apply for financial aid, get a housing loan, or even apply for a job because you would need to disclose you have a felony conviction.
An Orlando attorney could explain the fake ID charges to help you and your family fully understand the potential consequences.
As soon as you learn you are going to be arrested or summoned to court for using a fake ID, you should reach out to a seasoned attorney who is familiar with Florida’s laws and has practical experience helping other students in similar situations. An experienced attorney might be able to stop the process at the initial hearing by having you agree to pay a fine, perform community service, or enter into an alcohol awareness program.
Sometimes, having an attorney at the initial hearing could stop the suspension of your driver’s license. If the license has already been suspended, a lawyer might be able to appeal the suspension or help you apply for a hardship license.
Facing criminal charges in another state or country (either as an exchange student or as someone participating in Spring Break) can be overwhelming for a student and their family. However, a skilled attorney could help ease the anxiety and burden for a non-local family. They could handle a claim locally and work on building a strong defense, while contacting the right authorities and allowing you to return to your home state or country without having to deal with the Florida justice system alone. The legal team could help you set local court dates that work for your schedule and work diligently to waive the need for your presence in court for certain appearances.
When you are from another state or country, you are probably not familiar with Florida’s laws regarding fake ID’s. As a parent, you need to work with a lawyer who will work to protect your student’s rights and future. Contact a knowledgeable attorney who could help with a fake ID defense for out-of-state or international students. Having a well-informed defense attorney by your child’s side gives them the best chance of resolving the case.
The Umansky Law Firm Criminal Defense & Injury Attorneys