Many people know someone who has created, possessed, and used a falsified identification card or a fake ID. Even though most of these cases are carried out by teenagers and are considered juvenile crimes, the act of using a fake ID is seen with utmost seriousness in California. Depending on the circumstances, the offender could be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony crime.
What Are the Consequences of Using a Fake ID in California?
What exactly constitutes a fake ID crime in California? Knowing the details could keep you out of trouble, or help build your defense if you have already been wrongfully charged with the crime.
It is a crime to display or possess a falsified identification that mimics or represents any sort of ID created by a government agency. Having a fake ID in California may be considered either a misdemeanor or a felony-level charge. Probation is also common for these convictions. So, what happens if you get caught with a fake ID at a bar?
Can You Go to Jail for Having a Fake ID?
The penalties for a fake ID crime conviction in California can include:
- Misdemeanor: Up to one year in jail and up to $1,000 fine
- Felony: Up to three years in prison and up to $10,000 fine
The majority of fake ID crimes involve a falsified driver’s license but any sort of license, accreditation, or pass produced by the government can constitute ID fraud if it is falsified. Furthermore, falsification includes altering, forging, duplicating, or reproducing the ID in any way without explicit permission to do so from the normal issuing government body.
If a fake ID is merely possessed without a clear purpose, then it is possible the crime will only be a misdemeanor. If the fake ID is used or displayed to commit fraud, then California might ramp up the charges to a felony. Committing fraud is the act of deceiving a third party in order to gain property, finances, an advantage, or a favor.
Defending Yourself from Fake ID Fraud Charges
In many fake ID cases, the prosecution feels as if it starts at an evidential advantage. Charges are often only brought after a fake ID has been confiscated and placed into police possession. What are you to do if you have found yourself in what seems to be an uphill legal battle?
Contact Hanson, Gorian, Bradford & Hanich and our Temecula criminal defense attorneys as soon as you are charged with using or possessing a fake ID. With decades of legal experience and thousands of cases handled, you can trust in our ability to analyze the circumstances of your arrest and construct a reliable defense strategy. Our primary objective will be to close your case with the best possible result, whether that is a case dismissal, not guilty verdict, or charge reduction.Free case evaluations are available to inquiring clients. Call (951) 506-6654 to learn more.