Aug 17, 2019 Underage drinking and fake IDs – Fairfax criminal lawyer weighs in
Underage drinking and fake IDs are widely enforced in Virginia, says Fairfax criminal lawyer
Underage drinkers and users of false identification risk prosecution under statutes that carry possible jail time. As a Fairfax criminal lawyer, I know that the days are over when the legal drinking age in many states through the 1980’s was eighteen, and when using a fake ID at a bar or nightclub usually at worst meant being denied entry.
Fairfax criminal lawyer on defenses against arrest and prosecution for underage drinking and possessing fake IDs
The law enforcement focus against underage alcohol consumption and fake identifications is part of the broader heavy police enforcement against alleged DUI, so should not be expected to abate soon.
As with any criminal suspects, if an underage drinking or fake ID suspect simply keep their mouths shut with police, refuse police searches and requests to turn over their fake IDs and other property, and refuse alcohol breath testing (when not actual nor suspected drivers), they have already helped their criminal defense attorney with their defense.
Fairfax criminal defense lawyer on consumption of alcohol in another state or properly monitored in a private residence as not a crime in Virginia
Merely having alcohol in one’s bloodstream does not automatically mean the alcohol was unlawfully possessed or unlawfully consumed in Virginia rather than in a neighboring state. Just because police find alcohol near a suspect does not automatically mean the suspect had the requisite knowledge, dominion and control over the alcohol to be found guilty. Just because liquid is in a container claiming to be wine, beer or liquor or looks and smells like alcohol does not automatically mean that it is alcohol, absent a chemist’s testimony (and police often do not even save the suspected alcohol as evidence).
Moreover, it is not a crime for minors to consume alcohol in private residences in Virginia when “accompanied by a parent, guardian, or spouse who is 21 years of age or older.” Va. Code §§ 4.1-305(A) and 4.1-200(7).
As a Fairfax criminal lawyer, I cannot tell people that it is okay to violate the underage alcohol and fake ID laws. I do say that when charged with such crimes, it is time to fully defend with a qualified lawyer.
Fairfax criminal lawyer Jonathan L. Katz pursues your best defense against felony, misdemeanor, DUI and drug prosecutions. To discuss your case with Jon Katz, please call his staff to schedule a confidential consultation, at 703-383-1100.