Law Offices of Christie A. Leary P.C.
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Teens in Fairfax County might be tempted to use alcohol for a variety of reasons. In some instances, it's a simple matter of being a teenager and pushing the envelope of what's legal and appropriate. In others, it's due to the pressure of other teens who are doing the same thing. For whatever reason, many juvenile crimes stem from alcohol use and the punishments for these acts can be severe. Underage drinking is illegal in the state. That's generally understood by all.

One aspect of minor consumption of alcohol that is often left unconsidered is how they got the alcohol in the first place. In many cases, the teens acquired the alcohol by using fake identification that states the person is of legal age. This too is against the law. In the state, it is illegal to use a driver's license, identification card or other material for identification in a fraudulent manner.

A person can't use another's ID as the person's own. A person can't have or sell an ID to establish a false ID. Formulating or altering an ID is illegal. A person who has, uses or distributes false IDs can face a Class 1 misdemeanor. When it comes to alcohol, a person under the age of 21 is not allowed to possess alcohol. People under the age of 21 can't use a fake or altered ID to purchase alcohol -- this includes birth certificates, driver's licenses and student IDs. Any underage person who is charged with this act will face a Class 1 misdemeanor. If convicted, there can be a loss of driving privileges for up to one year, a fine of $500 or more or at least 50 hours of community service. There can be a maximum of a year in jail and a fine of $2,500.

Although teens might not be under the impression that underage drinking and using a fake ID is such a terrible crime, there can be punishments if they're caught and convicted. These punishments can influence their lives for an extended period and worse if there are other crimes committed in conjunction with it. Having legal help for defense against the charges is imperative.

Source: Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, "The Truth About Using False Identification To Buy Alcohol," accessed on Feb. 22, 2015

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