My little brother, who is 17, was recently caught drinking with some of his friends. He was charged with an misdemeanor MIP. However, the police found out that he used my boyfriend's old ID to purchase beer at a gas station, and have video of him at the store doing so. My boyfriend lost the id sometime last year and I recently found it under the couch at my parents house. I left the ID on the counter, which is I think where my brother found it. After talking to my boyfriend, who said that he didn't know my brother was using the ID that night, the cop sent my brother an amended citation in the mail charging him with felony identity theft. He is also being charged with using a fake id to purchase alcohol, which is a misdemeanor. My parents already have retained a lawyer for him who is pretty sure that the felony charge will not hold up in court. I believe it is written as a 530? or something similar to that.
I was wondering if anyone had experience with something like this before and what possible outcomes might be? I am unsure of why they are charging him with felony identity theft in a situation like this, it seems like the misdemeanor for using the id would be sufficient enough. And I thought that the victim of the supposed identity theft, which is my boyfriend, would have to agree to press charges for this to go forward?
Also, the cop came to my parents house the night it happened and my little brother came outside (He had left the party he was at as soon as the cops came, but his "friend" ratted him out). Before he began talking to the officer, my brother asked if he could go inside and get my dad, but the cop told him he needed to answer some questions first. Isn't it illegal to interrogate a minor without his parents presence?
This is in Butte County, Northern California. My brother has no prior offenses of any kind. Any advice would be appreciated!