Centre County Fake ID Case - Failure of Officer to Adequately Warn Client

Penn State False Identification to Law Enforcement and Underage Drinking Charges Dismissed

The Penn State Police responded to a report that a male was passed out in a Penn State dormitory. The police arrived, woke the client, attempted to talk to him, and then obtained the client's wallet from his pocket and searched it for identifying information. The client was transported by ambulance to the emergency room of the local hospital in State College for a possible alcohol overdose. Hours later, the Penn State officers returned to the hospital and confronted the client in the emergency room. One officer questioned the client as to his name and date of birth, and the client was expressly told by the officer that the client could not leave until he provided identifying information.

The client provided a name and date of birth, but the officer was unable to find any information in a computer database that matched the information. The officer, suspecting that the client was lying about his identifying information, told the client that continuing to provide incorrect identifying information would cause the client to get into more trouble. The client provided incorrect identifying information again. The Penn State police officer filed a misdemeanor criminal charge of False Identification to Law Enforcement, in violation of 18 Pa.C.S. 4914, and related summary offenses in Centre County.

Experienced Penn State Fake ID attorney Jason S. Dunkle filed a pre-trial motion to dismiss the misdemeanor charge because the charge requires an officer to inform the suspect that they are the subject of a police investigation. Here, it was conceded that the Penn State officer never expressly informed the client that the client was the subject of an official police investigation, but the district attorney argued that the officer's general statement that the failure to provide correct information would lead to more trouble satisfied the officer's requirements to file the charge.

The judge agreed with the criminal defense lawyer's argument and dismissed the misdemeanor charge of False Identification to Law Enforcement. An agreement was reached between the criminal defense lawyer and the district attorney that required the client to plead guilty to a summary charge of Public Drunkenness, and the remaining charge of Underage Drinking was dismissed. By having the Underage Drinking charge dismissed, the client avoided the one-year license suspension and up to $500.00 fine for a second violation of Underage Drinking. The experienced State College expungement lawyer then filed an expungement petition with the Centre County court to have the Pennsylvania Fake ID and Underage Drinking charges expunged from the client's records.