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What Happens if You’re Caught Using a Fake ID?

Using a Fake ID can lead to serious charges and penalties

A fake ID is one that isn’t yours but that you’re using as your own ID. This can be a totally fake, manufactured ID with your picture but different personal information, or it could be a legitimate ID that belongs to someone else that you’re presenting as your own. In both cases your use of the ID is illegal as it’s a form of misrepresentation, specifically “falsification of proof of age,” that allows you to skirt laws and evade legal consequences if no one detects that the ID is fake. However, once detected, that fake ID can land you in legal trouble.

Merely using a fake ID is a crime in itself, with penalties ranging from a fine of up to $1,250 and jail time up to 30 days. Even if all you’re doing is trying to buy one beer at a convenience store with your friends, you could end up in jail for almost a month if caught. What’s worse is that, if the court determines that you used the fake ID for monetary gain or other circumstances that the court decides are worth additional penalties, your fines could soar to $10,000, and jail time could increase to up to 3 1/2 years, because now you’ve committed a Class I felony. And yes, this applies even though you’re a minor.

Merely carrying someone else’s ID isn’t a crime; for example, if your friend left her ID at your house and you’re bringing it to her, you’re not doing anything wrong. But if your friend is over 21, say, and you use the ID along the way to buy alcohol, then you’ve committed a crime because you intentionally misused her ID (as well as violating alcohol laws).

If you or your underage family member are facing charges stemming from possessing or using a fake ID, contact Eisenberg Law Offices immediately at (608) 256-8356. A conviction would greatly affect your life, and you need to get legal help now.