Using a fake identification card as a teen can seem relatively harmless – especially if “everyone is doing it” – until offenders realize the full implications of this illegal action. Using false identification for any purpose, even for an attempt at underage drinking, is a crime.
Young people facing criminal charges for possessing or attempting to use a fake ID in Arizona could suffer lasting repercussions. Depending on the charge and the nature of the crime, offenders could end up with misdemeanors, hefty fines, community service, and even jail time. Get the facts before making this mistake in The Grand Canyon State.
An individual caught with a fake ID could face a number of different criminal charges and punishments depending on the circumstances of the incident. Having the false identification on your person can result in a citation with a fine. Some bars and liquor stores will give the person a chance to come clean and leave without repercussions – often keeping the fake ID but not filing charges or calling the police. Police may have the same leniency for first-time offenders if no other crime occurred in relation to the ID. Sometimes, taking an alcohol diversion class can erase a first-time offense conviction.
If the person keeps asserting the authenticity of the fake ID, police may launch an investigation. If police then find the ID to be false, the officer could charge the individual with false identification and giving an officer false information. This could ultimately lead to the person spending a night in jail. In cases involving an authentic ID that belongs to another person, the police could file a charge for identify theft if the person is unaware that someone else is using the ID. If someone, such as a friend or family member, knowingly loaned the ID to an underage person, the Arizona Department of Motor Vehicles could suspend the license for six months.
There are often other crimes associated with using a fake ID, such as minors in possession of alcohol, underage drinking, and driving under the influence. A minor in possession of alcohol (or consumption) using false identification is a class 1 misdemeanor in Arizona. This can result in fines of up to $2,500, jail time of up to six months, and driver’s license suspension for up to six months. The same charge and penalties apply to minors who use fake IDs to get into locations that sell and serve alcohol.
When the police catch a suspect manufacturing false IDs, it is a serious crime. Driver’s licenses are official government documents. Fabricating these documents can come with major penalties depending on the intentions of the manufacturer. Penalties are typically more severe in relation to the number of IDs created and the intended use for the false identification card. For example, creating a fake ID to cash a check, conceal citizenship status, or steal someone’s identity.
Making fake IDs to conceal true citizenship is a felony, punishable with up to five years in prison and $75,000 in fines. Creating fake IDs for the purpose of underage drinking or alcohol purchase is not as serious a crime, although the offender could still face six months to one year in jail and $1,000 in fines. Even stating that manufactured fake IDs are for “novelty purposes” does not automatically eliminate liability. Police may still consider it forgery of government documents, even if the individual created it as a joke.
Using or manufacturing fake IDs can ruin your life at a young age. If police recently arrested you for or charged you with crimes relating to false identification, contact a forgery attorney. A criminal defense lawyer can give you an incredibly important resource during this trying time.