University Freshman Avoids Conviction on Fake ID Charges
An underage freshman student at a New Jersey community college retained the Lento Law Firm's Criminal Defense Team after local authorities charged her with presenting false identification for access to a local nightclub that served intoxicating liquors. The nightclub had faced investigation for admitting underage minors after multiple reports of intoxicated minors suffering injuries. The nightclub had agreed to cooperate with police by permitting undercover officers to monitor the club entrance. Police had arrested several minors for presenting fake I.D., believing that news of the enforcement action would help the nightclub discourage minors from entering. Our client acknowledged having used another older student's identification to attempt to enter the nightclub with her friends. The older student had already entered the club but sent her identification back out to aid our client in entry. Conviction on the fake I.D. charge could also have resulted in our client's loss of her driver's license and university suspension. Our client's goal was to avoid conviction so that she had no criminal record that would interfere with her university education. The prosecutor refused our initial proposals to dismiss the charges in exchange for school or community service remedial education, or assessment. The prosecutor maintained that dismissal would frustrate the deterrence purpose of the whole enforcement action. So with our client's approval, we proposed pretrial intervention, a diversion program that imposes probation and requires satisfaction of conditions but ends in charge dismissal. The prosecutor rejected that proposal, too, but our appeal to a superior court judge resulted in a reversal. Our client avoided conviction and retained her university good standing.
Counselor Avoids Fake ID Conviction Related to Credit Card
A marriage and family counselor retained the Lento Law Firm's Criminal Defense Team after facing a charge for using false identification for a credit card application. Our client had borrowed the limit on her own credit cards. Our client believed that if she could just borrow a little more, she could then manage her mortgage, school loans, and other obligations while her professional practice improved. Our client had secretly used her sister's identity to apply for another credit card. Her sister had noticed the application on her own credit report and contacting the company to indicate the identity fraud. That contact resulted in the discovery of our client's action and in the criminal charge against her. Our approach began with helping our client obtain financial management education and assistance. That intervention helped our client discover family and professional financial assistance to eliminate her financial stress and reduce her loan obligations. Demonstrating that our client had addressed her underlying financial issues would help negotiate charge relief with the prosecutor's office. We further documented that our client's sister had suffered no financial harm and had no interest in our client's prosecution. We also documented that the credit card company had suffered no loss. We also obtained adjournments of the criminal proceeding, giving our client's financial reforms time to gain traction, the evidence of which we documented. The prosecutor subsequently accepted a dismissal with conditions, which the court entered, leaving our client with a clean record, improved finances, and a financial plan.