In October of 2010, our Client was charged by the Portsmouth Police Department with obstruction of a police officer in the execution of duty in violation of R.I.G.L. 11-32-1. The obstruction charge occurred because our Client allegedly provided police with a fake ID. The penalties for obstruction include:
Every person who shall obstruct any officer, civil, military, or otherwise, including any state, city, or town police, sheriff, or fire fighter, while in the execution of his or her office or duty, shall be imprisoned not exceeding one year or be fined not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500).
Our Client was also charged with misrepresentation of age to obtain alcoholic beverages (using a fake ID) in violation of R.I.G.L. 3-8-6. Misrepresentation of age is defined as:
(1) A person who has not reached his or her twenty-first (21st) birthday to enter any premises licensed for the retail sale of alcoholic beverages for the purpose of purchasing or having served or delivered to him or her alcoholic beverages; or
(2) A person who has not reached his or her twenty-first (21st) birthday to consume any alcoholic beverage on premises licensed for the retail sale of alcoholic beverages or to purchase, attempt to purchase, or have another purchase for him or her any alcoholic beverage; or
(3) A person to misrepresent or misstate his or her age, or the age of any other persons, or to misrepresent his or her age through the presentation of any of the following documents:
(i) An armed service identification card, valid passport, the identification card license, or any other documentation used for identification purposes that may belong to any other person who is twenty-one (21) years or older;
(ii) A motor vehicle operator's license which bears the date of birth of the licensee, and which is issued by this state or any other state;
(iii) A Rhode Island identification card as defined in subsection (b) for the purpose of inducing any licensee or any employee of any licensee, to sell, serve or deliver any alcoholic beverage to a minor.
The penalties for having a fake ID and then using it to try to purchase alcohol are severe and include:
(d) Any person who violates this section shall be punished for the first offense by a mandatory fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500) and shall be further punished by thirty (30) hours of community service and shall be further punished by a suspension of his or her motor vehicle operator's license or driving privileges for a period of thirty (30) days; for the second offense by a mandatory fine of not less than five hundred dollars ($500) nor more than seven hundred fifty dollars ($750) and shall be further punished by forty (40) hours of community service and will be further punished by a suspension of his or her motor vehicle operator's license or driving privileges for a period of three (3) months; and for the third and subsequent offenses by a mandatory fine for each offense of not less than seven hundred fifty dollars ($750) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) and shall be further punished by fifty (50) hours of community service and will be further punished by a suspension of his or her motor vehicle operator's license or driving privileges for a period of one year.
(2) Any suspension of an operator's license or driving privilege pursuant to this section shall not operate to affect the insurance rating of the offender and any operator's license or driving privilege suspended pursuant to this section shall be reinstated without further expense upon application.
In December of 2010, the obstruction charge and the misrepresentation of age charge were both dismissed based on our negotiations and experience with underage alcohol offenses. This successful disposition allows our client to maintain her clean criminal record, to avoid disciplinary proceedings at her college and to avoid any license suspension.