Texas Law states that it is a crime for a person under the age of 21 to falsely state they are 21+. It is also illegal, under the same statute, for a minor to present any document indicating he is over 21 to a bartender, bar, bouncer, or restaurant (basically anyone engaged in selling or serving alcoholic beverages.)
Even if the person is turned down by the doorman at the bar, and never touches any alcohol, they can still be charged under the Underage drinking laws.
Misrepresentation of Age by a Minor is a Class C Misdemeanor, punishable by fines of up to $500. Because this offense is lumped in with the other underage drinking offenses, there is a potential, upon conviction, to suspend the minor's driver's License or delay the ability to obtain one.
If convicted, the minor must attend and complete a mandatory education class for alcohol awareness, and must complete community service at an anti-alcohol agency or group (organizations that aid those with alcohol issues or alcohol awareness).
For repeat offenders, who have been previously convicted at least twice of an offense to which this section applies, the offense is punishable by: (1) a fine of not less than $250 or more than $2,000;(2) confinement in jail for a term not to exceed 180 days; or(3) both the fine and confinement.
For more information, please see our FAQs on Underage Drinking below.
Related areas to Misrepresentation of Age include tickets and offenses under the umbrella of underage drinking such as Minor in Possession of Alcohol, or minors using a fake identification card, on aMisrepresentation of Age Case.
If you're looking for other offenses that are related to this one, you can see more information below, or click related legal offenses.
Although it's possible, usually a person charged with Misrepresentation of Age is not arrested and taken to jail -- at least in Austin. Officers will often issue a citation requiring that person to appear in court by a certain date. Still, in rare situations, Misrepresentation of Age does result in an arrest. Keates Law Firm can act quickly to assist with a personal bond to release that person. Be sure to read more about Bond, Personal Bonds, and Travis County Jail Releases.
Especially with college students, there is a tendency to charge minors with Misrepresentation of Age if they are found to have a Fake ID, even if never presented to anyone in an attempt to obtain alcohol. Obviously the argument from the prosecutor is "Why would they have it if not to use it," but the statute is clear that it is illegal to "present" the ID, not to merely possess it. While there are other offenses an angered prosecutor might charge based on a false ID card in a person's possession, if they do not have a witness to testify about the minor 'using' or 'presenting' the ID, then it's doubtful the prosecutor can make the case and obtain a conviction. The risk, of course, is that most of the other offenses involving possessing a false ID are actually more serious than a citation for Misrepresentation of Age.
If you'd like to talk in detail about your situation, or if you have questions, contact us for a Free Case Consultation. Keep in mind, Keates Law Firm only practices in Austin and Travis County.
Hiring the right attorney from the beginning is important. Poor legal decisions will have a negative effect upon the case as it progresses. The Keates Law Firm has over 16+ Years Experience handling Misrepresentation of Age cases. Our focus is to try and have the case dismissed against you. We don't even discuss pleas until all legal and negotiation options have been explored in detail.
Call Us to talk about your particular case and situation. It's a 100% Free Phone Consultation with Criminal Defense Attorney Keates. No Sales Pitches, No Hassles. We'll see if we are the right Law Firm for you, and give you a quote. Be sure to check out Keates Law Firm's Reviews and also our past cases and Results.
Your goal should be Dismissal for any Misrepresentation of Age charge. A Dismissal will allow a person to later seek an Expunction of a Criminal Record, which is where a Judge Orders the offense records destroyed, including police reports, court records, and prosecutor files.
Keates Law Firm has a track record of dismissals for Misrepresentation of Age. Most Misrepresentation of Age cases result in negotiated dismissals, where there's usually a trade-off of community service and a class in exchange for a dismissal -- but not always. The main hurdle is convincing the prosecutor to agree to dismiss the case, and Keates Law Firm has experience in Austin's Travis County courts doing just that.
(a) A minor commits an offense if he falsely states that he is 21 years of age or older or presents any document that indicates he is 21 years of age or older to a person engaged in selling or serving alcoholic beverages.
|Level of Offense||Punishment|
|Class C Misdemeanor||Not Jailable, No more than $500 fines|
|Class B Misdemeanor||Not more than 180 days in a county jail, and/or no more than $2,000 fines|
Call for a Free Consultation