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What Happens if I’m Caught Using a Fake I.D.?

Oftentimes, individuals who are under the age of 21 will obtain and use a fake I.D. or fake driver’s license to buy cigarettes or alcohol, gain entry into a bar or club, or to engage in other age-restricted activities.  However, if you are ever caught using a fake I.D., you can face criminal charges, where a conviction can result in harsh penalties.  Under California law, there are a number of different criminal offenses you can be charged with depending on the facts and circumstances of your case.

Becoming Government Custodian Fake Criminal Charges for Using Fake Identification

Under California’s Business & Professions Code, if you are under the age of 21, and you possess or present a fake I.D., you can be charged with a misdemeanor offense.  So, while you can face criminal charges if you use a fake I.D. to try to purchase alcohol, it is also enough that you simply have a fake I.D. in your possession.  If you are caught with a fake I.D. and charged with this offense, at a minimum, you can face penalties that include a $250 fine, community service requirements, and your driving privileges will be suspended for one year.  Even if you don’t yet have a driver’s license, you’ll have to wait an extra year before you can obtain one.  Subsequent violations would result in steeper fines and more community service hours.

You can also face charges under California’s Penal Code if you possess or present a fake I.D. or driver’s license with an intent to commit forgery or fraud.  As with the offense discussed above, you don’t have to actually use the fake I.D. in order to be charged under the Penal Code.  Depending on the facts of your case, you can be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, and the penalties associated with a conviction under the Penal Code are much more severe.  For example, if you’re charged with a misdemeanor, you can face up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.  If you are charged with a felony, the penalties can include up to three years in jail and fines of up to $10,000.

Of course, it is important to note that being charged with using or possessing a fake I.D. is not just limited to teenagers who want to go to a bar or who want to buy alcohol.  Adults can also face criminal charges if they use fake identification to commit identity theft, insurance fraud, or to obtain work if they are in the United States illegally.  In most instances, teenagers who use fake I.D.s to procure alcohol or cigarettes are charged under the Business and Professions Code, while those who use fake identification for other purposes might be charged under the Penal Code.  However, if you are under the age of 21 and you try to use a fake ID to purchase alcohol, there is no guarantee that you will not be charged with a more serious offense under the Penal Code.

Call an Experienced and Skilled Rancho Cucamonga Criminal Defense Lawyer Today!

Becoming Government Custodian Fake If you have been arrested and charged with a criminal offense because you have been accused of using or possessing fake identification, it is imperative that you consult with an experienced Rancho Cucamonga Criminal Defense Lawyer right away.  Depending on the circumstances of your case, you could be facing harsh penalties, including lengthy jail sentences and steep fines.  At Schwartzberg & Luther, APC, we have extensive experience handling a variety of criminal cases, and we have the skills and dedication necessary to ensure that your legal rights are protected.  Contact Schwartzberg & Luther, APC at (909) 457-4270 and schedule your free initial case evaluation.

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