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What Are the Consequences of Having a Fake ID?

Published on Feb 27, 2017 at 12:00 pm in Criminal Defense.
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When it comes to fake IDs, most of us think of high school kids or college underclassmen.  Most often they buy a fake ID online or borrow an older sibling’s drivers license to get into a bar or try to buy alcohol or tobacco.  Even though it is common, it is still a serious offense.  Young people pay no mind to the risk of carrying a fake ID. However, using a fake ID can send you to jail and lead to a permanent record.

Bouncers checking IDs at the front doors of bars can turn all confiscated, suspicious IDs over to the police.  Many bars pay uniformed police officers to monitor activity at the front door or have undercover officers spend time inside.  If caught by these officers using a fake ID, you can be taken into custody immediately.

The laws for using a fake ID vary from state to state.  The state listed on your fake ID does not matter; the state where you are caught using a fake ID determines which state’s laws will apply to you.  Most often the offense is a misdemeanor.  But using a fake ID to attempt to purchase a firearm, hide a criminal history from a police officer, or fly on an airplane are all serious circumstances in which you will likely be charged with a felony.

An arrest for using a fake ID will go on your criminal record.  After a certain amount of time passes, it may be possible to have your record cleared depending on the circumstances of your arrest, plea, and/or conviction.  However, potential employers can still see this information while performing a background check, damaging your chances of getting a job.

Attempting to use a fake ID can also result in the loss of your real driver’s license.  License suspension occurs in many states, even if you are not arrested.  A police officer can turn your information over to the DMV, which will suspend your license for a year.  Repeat offenders can face indefinite periods of driver’s license suspension.

The act of creating a fake ID is even more serious.  Forgery of a state document will likely result in a prison sentence.  Fake passports are an even greater offense.  Driver’s licenses are issued on the state level, while passports are a federally issued document.  The charge for attempting to use a fake passport can lead to very serious federal charges.

Most individuals possessing and attempting to use fake IDs are young and underage and do so because of peer pressure to fit in socially.  The consequences for this mistake can be detrimental to their future.  It is important to know your legal rights if you find yourself or someone you love in this situation.  While laws for having and using fake IDs can be harsh, a competent lawyer can help guide you or a loved one through the process and attempt to minimize the harm to your permanent record.

Our personal injury lawyers believe that a young person’s future does not have to be destroyed by this poor decision.  Contact our experienced legal team today for more information about record expungement or a free, zero-obligation evaluation of your case.  Thomas Law Offices is committed to helping you move past this negative experience and set you once again on the path to a bright future.

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Tad Thomas - Trial Lawyer

Tad Thomas

Managing Partner

Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

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