Georgia Fake IDs
While having a fake ID has almost become a rite of passage for teens, when an adult uses a fake ID to obtain a job, he or she could end up spending up to 15 years in prison and paying a fine as large as $250,000. This is a relatively new offense for Georgia residents, implemented under a barely noticed proviso of a new immigrationlaw in the state, however, the offense applies not only to illegal immigrants but to everyone in the state. If you think the penalties seem extra-harsh, you are right. The penalties for an adult who possesses a fake ID (and uses that ID to get a job) are on the same level as penalties for possession of 10,000 pounds of marijuana.
According to the executive director of the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police, Frank Rotondo, while the penalties areharsh, they are meant to “send a message.” While the law regarding fake IDs could potentially “catch” those who are in the country illegally, officials believe the new law will also snare younger people who lie about their age to obtain employment—or even “deadbeat” parents attempting to hide income. Penalties for an individual who is underthe age of 21 who uses a fake ID to obtain employment include up to three years in jail and a fine as large as $5,000.
Some Lawmakers Believe the Law Will Alleviate Taxpayer Burden
Prior to the new Georgia law regarding fake IDs, the use of such an ID typically resulted in a minor fine and probation. Those in the state who support the law believe it will help deter those coming to Georgia illegally, relieving the burden on taxpayer-funded public schools, courts, and hospitals. Critics of the new law believe the punishments are so extraordinarily harsh that constitutional challenges are likely to be triggered.
Although other facets of the law have been placed on hold—notably, two provisions which would allow law enforcement to investigate a suspect’s immigration status and punishing those who knowingly transport or harbor an illegal immigrant while committing another offense. Compared to those two provisions, the section regarding fake IDs passed almost without a hiccup. Unfortunately, many police agencies in the state of Georgia are unsure whether they are meant to enforce the law, and, if so, how. Most metro Atlanta police agencies prefer to take a slower approach, evaluating the best way to proceed in the absence of total clarity.
Law Enforcement Agencies Unsure About Implementation of the New Law on Fake IDs
In some counties in the state, the police department typically handles a crime in which a fake ID is used to buy alcohol, while the sheriff’s department is more likely to investigate identity fraud cases. Since the use of fake IDs by illegal immigrants seeking employment is considered a fairly big problem, all law enforcement agencies may be charged with implementing the new law. Republican Matt Ramsey, author of the new law, claims that while the law applies to all adults in the state of Georgia, it could certainly help slow the flow of illegal immigrants in the state.
Ramsey also claims that the penalties for the offense are deliberately harsh because when illegal immigrants use fake IDs to obtain employment, employers are then placed in legal jeopardy because it is against the law to employ an illegal immigrant. The new law may not be all that well known at this time, meaning most employers may not be aware of the law. Although most employers require workers to provide identification, it is almost impossible for employers to consistently identify a fake identification card, leaving employers to wonder where they will stand under the new law should they inadvertently accept a fake ID.
If You Have Been Charged with Using a Fake ID, You Need Immediate Legal Assistance
If you are charged with using a fake ID, you need immediate legal help from a highly qualified Georgia criminal defense attorney because the penalties for the crime are so severe. For the most positive outcome following your Georgia arrest for using a fake ID, it is important that you not wait to speak to an attorney, rather call attorney Melanie Ellwanger immediately. Melanie understands your situation and will aggressively defend you during this difficult time. Melanie is dedicated to protecting your rights and your future and will advocate strongly for you following your charges. ContactMelanie Ellwanger today at (404) 803-3105 for highly experienced, knowledgeable criminal and DUI representation.