What Are the Penalties for Fake IDs?

fake id

A fake ID is a falsified or altered identification such as a driver’s license or a passport. These replicas are made by a non-government entity to look official. If you were a young adult after the year 1984, you’ve likely encountered fake IDs. Young adults in college especially, but many high school students too, acquire fake pieces of identification to trick alcohol-serving establishments into thinking they’re older than they are. Underage individuals do this to purchase or drink alcohol, which is against the law.

To them, having a fake ID can seem harmless, but in reality, alcohol-serving establishments can experience extreme consequences if they’re caught serving alcohol to anyone under 21. It’s considered a third-degree misdemeanor for the bartender or waiter and the owner of the establishment who owns the liquor license. The first offense is $1,000, while the second can be up to $2,500, with up to a year in jail. Bars can’t even allow minors entry without a parental guardian or supervision. In many ways, those who use fake IDs are not only putting themselves at legal risk but others too.

While those penalties may seem severe, the penalties for having a fake ID are significant as well.

What are the Penalties for Fake IDs?

The penalties for fake IDs differ depending on what they’re used for. Being caught with a fake ID but not doing anything with it carries a different charge and punishment than if you were caught trying to purchase alcohol.

Don’t forget that your age doesn’t matter in Pennsylvania. The standard punishments for someone under 18-years-old are the same as those between ages 18 and 20. In all cases, your parents will be notified.

  • Owning a fake ID can lead to 90 days in jail and up to a fine of $300. Jail time is not common, especially if this is your first offense, but it’s possible. Repeat offenders will receive fines of $500.
  • Using a fake ID to purchase alcohol can lead to a $500 fine for your first offense. The second offense will be $1000 and also for each subsequent offense. You may be admitted to a pre-adjudication disposition program which includes community service or counseling upon your first offense.
  • Presenting a fake ID to a law officer can lead to a misdemeanor conviction of the third degree, which includes six months to a year in prison and a fine of up to $2500. This is by far the most severe punishment.

What are the Types of Fake IDs?

Fake IDs are not divided by the type of ID they’re imitating. A fake passport and a driver’s license could technically be the same type based on how the fake ID is made.

  • Borrowed IDs: These are real IDs in that they were legally made and weren’t altered. What makes them unlawful is that they are being used by someone other than the person it was made for. Because they are creating a fake persona, they are considered fake IDs.
  • Altered IDs: These IDs are also real IDs in terms of production. What makes them fake is that they were altered. People typically change the date of birth. This is one of the most difficult IDs to catch because the photo will look like the person on the ID and the bar code on the back will scan.
  • Forged IDs: There are two types of forged IDs, front-forged and front and back-forged.
  • Front-forged IDs are where only the front is changed to match the person handing it in. The back will still scan in these instances. These are typically as difficult to identify as well-made altered IDs.
  • Front and back-forged IDs are completely fake. While they may appear real, they rarely scan, which shows that they’re fake..

The type of fake ID doesn’t affect the penalty in itself, but the circumstances around it. If your ID is borrowed, you could be charged for stealing someone’s property and identity. If they let you borrow it, two people can be charged, one for using it and the other for supplying it. With the other two types, you could be charged for stealing an ID, but altered and forged IDs don’t need to use someone else’s ID.

Contact MKPV Law If You’re Caught With a Fake ID

Fake IDs feel like a common part of life as a young adult, but that doesn’t make them any less illegal. To protect your future, you need a juvenile defense attorney who will keep this one mistake from ruining your life.

The juvenile defense attorneys at Mazzoni Karam Petorak and Valvano will fight for your rights. Contact us as soon as possible for help.

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Mazzoni, Karam, Petorak & Valvano

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