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Can I Get In Trouble For Using A Fake ID?

The most common reason that people use fake IDs, by far, is to obtain alcohol or enter bars when under the age of consent.
The definition of a fake ID is those that have been altered, forged or are used by someone other than the person named on the ID. There are consequences for using a fake ID, which will depend on the circumstances of the offense. Additionally, possession of a fake ID can also land you in serious trouble under forgery; identify theft, or criminal impersonation laws. In some cases, you may face a considerable custodial sentence if you are found to have forged, altered, or have identification documents on your person which do not belong to you.

Buying Alcohol Using a Fake ID

Buying alcohol using a fake ID is a class one misdemeanor, which could see you serving up to six months in prison under Arizona law. Additionally, you may end up out of pocket to the amount of $2,500 dollars when the court hands down a fine. Even though the offense occurred in a place licensed to sell alcohol, it is also within the court’s power to suspend your driving license. For a person under the age of 21, these penalties can have a considerable impact on the rest of your life. Regardless of the circumstances, you will have to declare to prospective employers that you have a criminal record. So the possible ramifications of using a fake ID to purchase alcohol are potentially far reaching.

Identity Theft

The crime of identity theft is a class four felony, which is a crime in and of itself. However, using someone else’s identity to purchase items, or commit other types of fraud, will result in additional charges being filed against you. First time offenders can expect a sentence of 2 ½ years, on top of years added for the additional charges connected with the use of another person’s identity. The important thing to remember is, regardless of whether you used the person’s identity to commit fraud or not, you can still face charges for attempting to represent yourself as another person by using stolen or forged identification documents.

Criminal Impersonation

Using fake or stolen social security numbers, usually for the purpose of acquiring work, is also a crime. You will face charges under a felony class six or misdemeanor class one. The sentence for this offense is typically 1 ½ years. Other possible ramifications include a negative effect on attempts to gain legal residential status. This is not always the case, however, it is something that is considered when your status is being considered. If you are an undocumented worker, you do not want to run the risk of compromising your character if you can avoid it.

Helping Someone Underage to Obtain Alcohol

By helping someone underage to obtain alcohol, you are misrepresenting that person’s age and as such you are breaking the law. Whether you carry a valid ID or not, by helping a minor to purchase alcohol you have knowingly lied about the other person’s age, which constitutes a class one misdemeanor. Further penalties include losing your license for 30 days or, if it is a repeat offense, losing your license for up to 60 days. Again, the risk is not worth having a criminal record or losing the ability to easily travel.

Consequences of Using Fake IDs, Outside of the Law

As I have already touched on, it is often the consequences of using a fake ID outside of the law which are the most detrimental to a person’s life. You may have difficulty securing employment, as some employers will see that you have a criminal record and deny your application. Schools, colleges, and other places of learning may also have rules and consequences for students who have been found guilty of using a fake ID. One of the reasons that legal age laws exist is to protect minors. That includes ensuring that persons below a certain age are not engaged in activities, or in establishments, which pose a risk to life or limb.

What you also have to consider is whether getting into a popular bar is really worth the fallout. One night of fun has the potential of ruining your career, serve time in prison and end up with a permanent criminal record. The police are well aware of establishments with lax procedures for checking ID, so there is a good chance that you are going to get caught. Denying the offense will not help your case, either, as it will only add to the court’s perception that you are a dishonest person who has no problem with knowingly deceiving an officer of the law, which is never a good look when you are trying to establish yourself a trustworthy employee and citizen.

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The materials provided herein have been prepared by Matthew Lopez Law for informational purposes only and are not legal advice. No client or other reader should rely on or act or refrain from acting on the basis of any matter or information contained in on the website of Matthew Lopez Law without seeking appropriate legal or other professional advice.