Birth certificates, driver’s licenses, and other state-issued forms of identification are both a responsibility and a privilege to possess in the state of Florida. These forms of identification are not only beneficial for purchasing and consuming alcohol, but they are necessary to keep the overwhelming majority of Florida citizens safe. False records and/or IDs compromise these basic necessities.
What Is A Fake ID?
A fake ID is a form of identification that misrepresents the individual who possesses it. There are many ways for an ID to be considered fraudulent.
- The ID may contain false information (i.e. incorrect birthdate, address and other general information).
- The ID may contain a photo of a different person (as opposed to a photo of the person who possesses the ID).
- The ID may be illegitimate (meaning that the ID was not administered by a state official under appropriate protocol). In most cases, this sort of fake ID lacks a state seal.
- The ID may be stolen.
- The ID may be legitimate, but it may be used for illegal purposes (i.e. purchasing alcohol for a person who is underaged).
Fake ID Charges & Penalties
In Florida, there are distinct fake ID laws. The crime of using a fake ID is governed by Statute 322.212, Florida Statutes. Florida fake ID laws make it illegal to possess or display a fake, forged, stolen, counterfeit or borrowed driver’s license or state issued identification card. Notice that the statute makes the mere possession of a fake ID a crime — the ID does not need to be used for any particular purpose. Generally speaking, students are charged with possession of a fake ID when it is determined they used a fake or borrowed ID to get into a bar or nightclub and consume alcohol.
A conviction for being in possession of a fake or borrowed ID card is a third degree felony and is punishable by up to five years in prison, five years of probation and/or a $5,000 fine. This is a very important distinction. Using your friend’s ID to get into a bar is a misdemeanor; but making your own ID or changing information on your friend’s ID, or even changing some of the information on your own ID, is a felony.
Among these, it is also against the law to produce, create, buy, sell, trade or transfer fake IDs.
As indicated, fake ID charges can be harsh. Therefore, a criminal defense attorney is necessary to protect your rights and help you gain a favorable outcome after being charged with a fake ID crime.
Students Charged with Fake ID Crimes
In a popular college town like Gainesville, FL, where there are numerous high schools and several institutions of higher learning, (notably the University of Florida and Santa Fe College), fake ID crimes are extremely prevalent. As noted, fake ID crimes may cause students to be arrested, fined, and/or placed on probation. These are only penalties from the states. While the policies for fake ID crimes at high schools and university vary, there is a high probability that fake ID arrests may cause students to be placed on academic and/or conduct probation for a semester. In fact, some schools may even expel a student for such unethical practices. Once a fake ID crime is placed on a student’s record, it can become extremely difficult for the student to obtain internships, jobs, and even gain admittance into graduate and professional schools.
If you are a high school and/or college student and you have been accused and/or charged with a fake ID crime, there can be severe penalties. You should contact an experienced criminal lawyer immediately.
Fake ID Criminal Defense Lawyers
At the Law Office of Silverman, Mack & Associates, we understand that peer pressure and other external influences can contribute to a student desiring to use a fake ID. We also understand that many times, possessing a fake ID may be a pure misunderstanding or mistake. Contact our criminal defense lawyers in Gainesville today to ensure that a fake ID charge does not ruin your future.