It used to be that in order to get a fake ID you had to know a guy who knew a guy. To get a convincing one, it took a high level of skill. These days, with photo editing software at the fingertips of any iPhone wielding teen, creating a fake ID has never been easier.
Consequently, many states are punishing possession of false identification documents more severely than ever. In many states, it’s a felony.
Someone can be charged with a range of different offenses, depending on the purpose for which you are in possession of a fake ID. Fake ID laws cover a range of activities:
- Making or selling false documents
- Altering legitimate documents
- Purchasing false documents, using them or possessing them.
The harshest penalties usually apply to possession of false documents.
This is not to be confused with the use of a real identity that is not your own. That’s identity theft and is different.
Penalties for Possession of a Fake ID
Here are some examples of penalties for possession of a fake ID in Michigan:
- Felony: Possession of a fake ID with the intent to commit a felony punishable by 10 years or more in prison is a felony in and of itself, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine.
- Felony: Possession with the intent to commit a felony punishable by less than 10 years in prison or a misdemeanor punishable by six months or more in prison is itself a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.
- Misdemeanor: Possession with the intent to commit a misdemeanor punishable by less than six months is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a $2,000 fine.
In other words, if the crime you intended to commit with the fake ID – and in the eyes of the law, purchasing alcohol as a minor, much less drinking and driving, is illegal – is punishable by prison time, then simple possession of a fake ID during that crime or attempt to commit that crime is also punishable with prison time.
Furthermore, possession of two or more fake IDs, possession with intent to sell, or selling are all felonies, punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine. Possession of 1 fake ID is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a $2,000 fine.
In addition, you don’t even have to make your own to get in trouble.
Stealing the ID of another or using a stolen ID is punishable by 1 year in jail.
Using a fake ID to purchase alcohol is punishable by up to 93 days in jail and/or $100 in fines and you would be eligible to be charged with being a minor in possession of alcohol as well.
What You Should Do
It’s important not to take these charges lightly. You could face penalties that are more than just a slap on the wrist. If you are facing charges related to possession of a fake ID, call an experienced criminal defense attorney right away. Call my office today.
Let’s start fighting for your freedom