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Fake IDs Not Worth the Risk in Illinois

Posted on in Fraud

fake id, underage drinking, Illinois criminal defense lawyerAdvances in digital technology have made producing and obtaining a false driver’s license or identification care easier than ever. Individuals under the age of 21, obviously, are the most likely try to use fake IDs to get into bars and nightclubs or to purchase alcohol. Fake IDs may also be created and obtained as part of larger identity theft schemes to illegally access a victim’s assets or accounts. Whatever their intended purpose, possession of a fraudulent identification card is prosecutable under law, and potential penalties in Illinois are among the most severe in the country.

What Constitutes a Fake ID?

An identification card that is passed off as an official identification card from any governmental or quasi-government organization that contains false or altered information is considered a "fraudulent identification card" under the Illinois Identification Card Act. A card need only resemble an official ID, or use the words "official," "state," "Illinois," or any other state name to be considered a fake ID.

Getting Caught

The vast majority of fake IDs are used in the attempt to gain access to bars, clubs, and alcohol by those who are not yet of legal age. Recent efforts to curb underage drinking and fake ID use in the state have led to more knowledgeable bouncers and bar staff with better training to spot a fraudulent card. MTV News recently reported that bouncers are more likely to simply confiscate a fake ID and deny access to the establishment than anything else. Bar staff frequently do not have a vested interest in pursuing further action. On occasion, however, the card may be turned over to the police and a person caught with a fake ID could face serious consequences.

Potential Penalties

The Illinois Identification Card Act specifies that it is a Class 4 felony "to knowingly possess, display, or cause to be displayed any fraudulent identification card." Penalties include up to three years in prison, mandatory minimum fines of $500 or community service, and a one year suspension of driving privileges. The use of fake IDs to access accounts or information, or to commit other crimes, carries even more significant consequences. As a felony, convictions related to possessing a fake ID could potentially follow an individual for years to come, and may limit future opportunities.

It IS a Big Deal

College students and other young adults insist that using fake IDs to get into bars is pretty harmless or "not that big a deal." Law enforcement and the Illinois Office of the Secretary of State believe otherwise. Fake IDs and underage drinking are a big deal and the laws of the state will continue to treat them as such.

If you are facing charges related to possessing a fraudulent identification card or underage drinking in Illinois, you need lawyer on your side who understands the legal process. Contact an experienced Kane County criminal defense attorney today for consultation. We can help you understand the options available to you and ensure your rights are protected.

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