Birth certificates, driver’s licenses, and other types of 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 a number of reasons, but they are necessary to keep citizens safe throughout the nation. As such, the existence of false records or identification compromises these basic necessities for both law enforcement as well as civilians.
Possessing and/or using any form of false identification in Florida is considered a fraudulent crime to which the consequences are severe for individuals who are charged and convicted of this crime. If you’re arrested for possession of false identification, contact a criminal law defense attorney with The Law Office of Silverman, Mack & Associates as soon as possible.
What Is A Fake ID?
False identification, or fake ID, is a form of identification that misrepresents the individual who possesses it. In Florida, there are distinct fake ID laws governed by Florida Statute § 322.212. According to Florida law, it’s illegal to possess and/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.
There are a number of ways in which an ID is considered fraudulent, including the following.
- The ID may be stolen
- The ID may be illegitimate
- The ID may contain a photo of a different person
- The ID may contain false information
- The ID may be legitimate but used illegitimately
What Are The Penalties For A Fake ID?
Often times, students are charged with possession of a fake ID when caught by law enforcement with a fake or borrowed ID to gain entry into establishments with above 21 years age requirements or being in possession of alcohol while underage. A conviction for possessing a fake or borrowed ID 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.
There is an important distinction between being in possession of a fake ID and fabricating materials with false information. 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. In addition to fake ID use, it is also illegal to produce, create, buy, sell, trade or transfer fake IDs.
As indicated, fake ID charges can be severe, especially for individuals who are under 21 years of age. Therefore, hiring a Gainesville attorney who is experienced in criminal law defense is integral to protecting your rights and helping you gain the most favorable outcome after being charged with a fake ID crime.
Students Charged With Fake ID Crimes
In a popular college town like Gainesville, where there are numerous high schools and several institutions of higher learning, fake ID crimes are extremely prevalent. The policies for fake ID crimes within high schools and university vary from institution to institution. A fake ID arrest can cause the charged student to be placed on academic and/or conduct probation for an amount of time as specified within the institution’s code of conduct. 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 affect his or her ability to obtain internships, jobs, and even gain admittance into graduate and professional schools.