PHILIPSBURG–The Court of First Instance sentenced a man on Thursday to two weeks suspended, on two years’ probation, and sixty hours of community service for carrying a fake international driver’s licence.
Aloysius Stephen (40) explained to the Court that his St. Lucia driver’s licence had long-since expired. He said he had approached an “unknown” man who provided him with the international licence for which he paid US $75.
“Armed” with the international licence he went to the Civil Registry to have it switched for a St. Maarten driver’s licence. On verification, the Civil Registry’s front office noticed the licence was forged.
International drivers’ licences are only valid for 12 months, whereas the licence provided by the defendant mentioned August 16, 2013, as date of issue, with the expiration date of August 26, 2018.
The Head of the Civil Registry filed a report on December 7, 2016, after which the defendant was arrested.
“I was not thinking at the time,” he told the Judge. His lawyer Geert Hatzmann said his client had acted in ignorance. “My client really thought he could change the licence for a St. Maarten driver’s licence,” Hatzmann said in pleading for an acquittal.
“You should have known that you can only obtain a driver’s licence via the proper channels and not from an unknown man you do not know anything about,” the Judge told the defendant before sentencing him according to the Prosecutor’s demand.