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Using a Fake ID? 5 Potential Legal Consequences

By Betty Wang, JD | Last updated on

Using a fake ID can lead to serious legal consequences. While it may be tempting to use a fake ID for acts that seem "innocent" or "victimless" -- such as purchasing alcohol to drink in your own home -- think again. Fake ID-related acts are no joke, and you could be in more trouble than you've bargained for.

So before you memorize all the fake info on that little card you somehow got your hands on, keep in mind these potential criminal consequences that could land you behind bars:

  1. Being convicted of a felony. Depending on which state you are in, possessing a fake ID or acts related to the usage of a fake ID can amount to a serious felony charge. In Florida, for example, the unauthorized possession of a phony ID, or any other illegal acts related to a fake ID, can be punished as a third degree felony.
  2. Facing charges of fraud or other crimes. Not only is it illegal to use a fake ID, but you could be charged with fraud (for the crime that you attempted to or did commit by using the fake ID). This can include a wide variety of crimes, such as possessing alcohol as a minor.
  3. Getting your license revoked. It's not only actions on the road that can lead to your driver's license being taken away, but using a fake ID in some states can easily lead to a license revocation. Take Florida for example (again), where state law punishes anyone who provides false information when applying for a commercial driver's license by disqualifying them from operating a motor vehicle.
  4. A criminal record. A minor who's caught using a fake ID may be able to get that juvenile conviction expunged. However, once you turn 18 and are convicted of a fake ID-related crime, this could mean a permanent criminal record that will follow you to school and job applications for the rest of your life. Not to mention, fraud-related crimes are sometimes seen as "worse" than others because of the implied dishonesty and untrustworthiness of the act.
  5. Becoming a victim of identity theft. If you offer your personal identifying information to have a fake ID made, be careful. Or rather, just don't do it. It's not only illegal, but you could open yourself up to being a victim of identity theft.

If you're caught with using a fake ID, make sure you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in your area immediately. A knowledgeable lawyer can help to ensure that you get the best outcome in your situation.

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