Are You Really Who You Say You Are?
The days of creating a fake ID in NJ by cutting laminate to replace your driver's license picture are behind us, but driver's license fraud is far from over. The State of New Jersey is addressing fake ID issues head-on by incorporating facial recognition software in the application process for driver's licenses and identification cards to catch those using fake IDs as well as finding previous infractions on applicant records. In many cases, the facial recognition software is identifying previous crimes, warrants, arrests and even affecting immigration status.
Penalties in New Jersey for driver's license fraud or possession of a fake ID are severe and potentially could result in a criminal record and a possible prison sentence. Don't let a mishap with the law deter you from any future goals, the lawyers at Villani & DeLuca P.C. understand situations like yours and genuinely want to help you. Call 732-709-7757 for your free initial consultation today.
“No Smiling” Policy
Designed to enhance the results of New Jersey's facial recognition computer software, the Motor Vehicle Commission has instituted a “no smiling” policy for driver's license photos. Why? According to the MVC, the reason for the neutral expression rule is security to improve facial recognition results.
NJ Fake ID Facial Recognition Technology
Facial recognition software is being used by at least 39 states including New Jersey and New York. This technology converts an image into a template using more than 16,000 points created from the person's certain facial characteristics such as the cheekbones or distance between eye pupils. An algorithm then compares the driver's license or ID photos with other DMV images on file, searching for a possible match. It can provide demographic information about the individual like age range, sex and race, serving as a key tool used by the police to identify persons of interest in crimes.
“Operation Facial Scrub”
New Jersey has referred about 2,500 fraud cases to law enforcement since December 2011 (as a response to 9/11). Though more than half couldn't be prosecuted because the statute of limitations had expired. The MVC has nicknamed this initiative, “Operation Facial Scrub” as it utilizes the facial recognition technology to “scrub” millions of photos in the record database to identify duplicative records.
“You have an opportunity, using this technology, to find people who are trying to skirt the system,” said Geoff Slagle, director of identity management for the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA). “It has really helped to identify fraudsters.”
Digging up Previous Infractions
But the facial technology doesn't just catch identity fraudsters. With the stringent driver's license requirements and the addition of facial recognition software use in NJ, many individuals who are trying to renew their license or get a new license end up arrested. Facial recognition technology is now allowing the DMV to find previous infractions on their record. This is particularly affecting individuals who are in the process of getting their real licenses in hopes of pursuing citizenship.
Defending Fake ID Charges (N.J.S.A. 2C:21-2.1, N.J.S.A. 2C:28-7, N.J.S.A. 33:1-81)
In New Jersey, depending on the statute charged, you could be facing the defense of a third degree crime, fourth degree crime, or disorderly persons offense for possessing a fake ID. The following statutes are routinely used by law enforcement when charging someone that possesses a fake ID:
- N.J.S.A. 2C:21-2.1 (Offenses Involving False Government Documents)
- N.J.S.A. 2C:28-7 (Tampering with Public Records)
- N.J.S.A. 33:1-81 (Misrepresenting age to induce sale or delivery to minor, disorderly person)
NJ Fake ID Driver's License Fraud Defense Options
The lawyers at the law firm of Villani & DeLuca are always staying on top of the legal options for their clients; our process is simple and starts with your free consultation. Do not wait until it is too late to get criminal representation. The attorneys at Villani & DeLuca are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 732-709-7757.