California Business & Professions Code Section 25661 BPC: Possession Or Presentation Of False Identification By A Minor

1. Definition and Elements of the CrimePossession Or Presentation Of False Identification By A Minor

While considered by many to be a rite of passage for those under the age of 21, possessing or presenting a fake ID by a minor is a criminal offense that can result in significant consequences, including loss of driving privileges. Under California Business and Professions Code Section 25661 BPC, minors who possess or present false identification can be prosecuted for a misdemeanor offense.

The following elements must be present in order to convict a defendant under California Business and Professions Code Section 25661 BPC:

  1. The defendant was under the age of 21 years AND
  2. The defendant knowingly presented or offered to any licensee, or his or her agent or employee, fraudulent identification for the purpose of ordering, purchasing, attempting to purchase or otherwise procuring or attempting to procure the serving of any alcoholic beverage.
  3. OR the defendant had in his or her possession any written, printed or photostatic evidence of age and identity which is false, fraudulent or not actually his or her own.
2. Related Offenses

Other similar or related offenses include:

  1. Possessing a Fake Driver’s License – California Penal Code Section 470B PC
  2. Purchase or Consumption of an Alcoholic Beverage by a Person Under 21 – California Business and Professions Code Section 25658(b) BPC
  3. Unlawful Use of Identification Cards – California Vehicle Code Section 13004 VC
3. Examples

A young woman goes into a liquor store and attempts to purchase alcohol. She is 19 years old but has a fake ID that says she is 23. When asked to show identification, the young woman shows the fake ID to the store clerk. This woman could be charged with presenting false identification in violation of California Business and Professions Code Section 25661 BPC.

A man who is not a United States citizen purchases a set of fake identification documents, including a fraudulent California driver’s license. One day while trying to get into a nightclub, the man presents his false ID to the doorman. Upon inspecting the card, the doorman notices that it is an obvious fake and contacts law enforcement. The man is over 21 years old. This man would not be criminally liable under California Business and Professions Code Section 25661 BPC because he is not under 21, however he could be charged with possessing a fake driver’s license in violation of California Penal Code Section 470B PC among other criminal offenses.

4. Defenses to Possession or Presentation of False Identification by a Minor

As noted above, California Business and Professions Code Section 25661 BPC only applies to those under 21 who present or possess false identification. If the defendant has a fake ID but is over 21, he or she could be charged under different sections of the California Penal Code or the California Vehicle Code.

5. How Possession or Presentation of False Identification by a Minor Cases are Defended

A minor who has been cited with this offense will be given a court date at which to appear. In fighting the case, a skilled defense attorney may challenge the search or seizure of the fake identification or may find other grounds for fighting the charge.

6. Penalties

A minor who possesses or presents false identification can be charged with a misdemeanor offense. If convicted the penalty on a first offense is a fine of at least $250 and between 24 and 32 hours of community service. A second or subsequent violation would result in a minimum fine of $500 and between 36 and 48 hours of community service.

In addition, a defendant convicted of this offense would face a yearlong driver’s license suspension pursuant to California Vehicle Code Section 13202.5 VC.

7. Criminal Defense for Possession or Presentation of False Identification by a Minor Cases

If you or a family member have been cited for this violation, it is essential that you consult with a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer as soon as possible. As a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience, Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Michael Kraut is a skilled advocate who fights diligently on behalf of his clients charged with offenses like this.

For more information about possession or presentation of false identification by a minor, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located at 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1480, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.

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