Next Thursday, November 27 is Thanksgiving. Students are home on a short vacation and most working people have the day off. Everyone loves thanksgiving: Sleeping late and enjoying a relaxing day of watching football and eating a home cooked meal sounds fantastic. For most, no work tomorrow means party time tonight. The night before Thanksgiving is usually a big party night out for a lot of people. The local bars and clubs know this and will promote events at their establishments. But police also know this, and will be on the lookout for any minor in possession of alcohol or a fake ID.
It is a crime for any person under the age of 21 to possess alcohol. It does not matter whether your parents gave you the alcohol or if it was served to you at a bar. Minors are not permitted to consume alcohol under any circumstances. Further, we already know that students arrested for any crime are at greater risk for severe consequences in school. Each school has a code of conduct, and any violation committed on or off campus can trigger administrative hearings which could result in a suspension of expulsion from school.
There are defenses to possession of alcohol by a minor. Minors that and work at a bar or restaurant and are required to serve alcohol as part of the job are in the clear, unless they are caught drinking. The same goes for a person who is transporting bottles of alcohol as part of their job directly connected to the job.
As for fake ID cases, Florida Statute 322.212 makes it a felony to possess, make or sell a fake ID. These cases will usually begin with an underage person, often a college student trying to get into a bar or a nightclub. What usually happens is that the civilian security guard or bouncer will simply confiscate the ID and the situation will end there. Other times, bars and clubs will have an off duty police officer working security who will get the ID from the bouncer and either let the issue go, or make an arrest. The fact that this situation could result in a felony record is astonishing considering almost every underage person has possessed, used or attempted to use a fake ID at least once in their lives. However, the law is the law and unless the law gets changed, we are stuck dealing with it. The good news is that most of these charges are sent to diversion programs where they are usually dismissed within 12 months. The bad news is that even a fake ID charge can land a student in hot water with their university.
If you are facing any criminal charges in Florida or simply have questions regarding any issues in criminal law, Call 800-403-3887 to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney today, available 24 hours a day 7 days a week for a free consultation or case evaluation.
Never speak to police or go to court without first speaking with a criminal defense attorney. Remember, even fish would not get caught if they kept their mouth closed.