Many young people view having a fake ID as a tradition, but law enforcement takes fake identification laws seriously. Utilizing a fake ID for activities such as consuming alcohol while underage, purchasing tobacco, driving underage, eluding immigration authorities, or stealing another person's identity can be viewed as fraud and is seen as a grave violation. Therefore, there can be harsh penalties for having a fake ID.
If you've been charged or arrested for possessing a fake ID then you shouldn't hesitate to call and speak to a top criminal defense lawyer in Greenville at TF Law today! We offer free consultations and are more than happy to help you get your case started and secure a better future for you!
What is Considered a Fake ID and How Can You be Penalized?
Some examples of crimes involving IDs include changing the name, creating a false driver's license, or manipulating the physical description or photograph on a card.
Minors are usually the ones to use fake IDs to purchase alcohol; yet, they can also try to cash checks in someone else's name. Additionally, illegal immigrants will sometimes make use of these false documents to elude police or get governmental assistance.
To be found guilty of possessing a false ID, the following must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt:
- You showed a driver's license or government-issued ID card.
- Your ID has been illegally copied, changed, or faked.
- You realized the license or ID card was fake.
- By using the ID, you intended to deceive someone in order to cause harm to their legal, financial, or property rights.
In South Carolina, it's a crime for minors to use fake IDs in an attempt to purchase alcohol. A first offense can result in a fine or up to a month in jail, and further offenses can lead to jail time of up to six months.
In South Carolina, having a fake or fraudulent ID is considered a misdemeanor crime. The associated penalties depend on the type of counterfeit document and how it was used. Fake Identification charges may be imposed in various ways, including:
- Possessing, using, or allowing someone to use a revoked, canceled, suspended, or fraudulent ID card or driver's license.
- Loaning out one's identification card, such as a driver's license, to someone else - for example, allowing a minor to use an adult's ID.
- Using an illegally obtained driver's license or personal ID card as if it were your own.
- Not surrendering a revoked, suspended, or canceled driver's license to the DMV when requested.
- Falsifying information, such as a name or birthdate, when applying for an ID or South Carolina driver's license.
- Allowing someone to use your identification card or driver's license illegally.
What are the Consequences for Crimes Involving Fake IDs?
Having a fake ID in South Carolina might be considered a misdemeanor offense, but it shouldn't be taken lightly. College students who use these IDs don't think about the legal repercussions if they’re caught. They could end up facing:
- A first offense may result in a fine of $100-$200 or 30 days in jail.
- Subsequent offenses may incur a fine of up to $500, or a 6-month jail sentence.
- The court may also require you to participate in a DAODAS program, designed to educate youth about the risks of alcohol consumption. This must be completed for a minimum duration.
- The program is an 8-hour course with a fee of $150, which the student has to pay.
- A lifelong criminal record
Possessing a false ID can lead to costly fines, jail time, and university sanctions including suspension, scholarship revocation, disciplinary action, and expulsion. Additionally, it can have a major impact on your life by affecting college admissions, job opportunities, housing prospects, professional licensing, and even residency.
What are the Characteristics of a Valid ID in South Carolina?
Fake IDs have become common among college students; in fact, two-thirds of them have reported using one to purchase alcohol. Despite the sophistication of fraudulent ID cards, machines are still able to spot minute differences that would go unnoticed by humans.
South Carolina authorities are able to identify a counterfeit ID or driver's license due to unique aspects like fonts, laser perforated palmetto tree with a crescent moon, and a state seal.
Fake IDs can be made that look scannable. However, ID scanners will not show any encoded information when one of these fake IDs is scanned, making it the fastest way to figure out that an ID card is bogus.
Will You Go to Jail for Possessing a Fake ID?
South Carolina laws consider the possession of a fake ID as a misdemeanor offense. Anyone caught in possession of a fake ID in Greenville, SC can face fines, imprisonment, or both. For a first-offense charge on a fake ID, the accused may need to settle a fine of $200. Additionally, they may face a maximum prison sentence of thirty days. For a second offense, the guilty party could end up paying as much as $500 in fines. The jail time for a second offense fake ID charge is also considerably longer. It stands at a maximum of six months.
Punishments for having a counterfeit ID can be slightly different. For instance, it is illegal to keep on utilizing a suspended or canceled license or identification card. Demonstrating these types of false cards is also illegal. Likewise, it is unlawful to inaccurately modify any details on your license or ID card. All of these activities can result in fake ID charges and may necessitate the assistance of a criminal defense lawyer at TF Law.
In South Carolina, loaning out a driver's license or ID card is against the law. This could be an adult giving their identification card to a minor or a person sharing their license with someone else.
When Does Using a Fake ID Become Fraud?
Fake IDs may be customized to match the holder, but a common trick is to use the ID of an existing person who simply looks like them.
Passing on an ID to someone who looks like the person it belongs to is not uncommon. However, law enforcement is increasingly vigilant when it comes to cracking down on fraudsters who use another individual's identification.
Misusing someone else's identification can result in a felony charge, punishable by up to a year in jail and fines of $2,500.
It's concerning to face punishment for using counterfeit identification to buy liquor or tobacco (criminal charges if underage). If you're found guilty of illegally using someone else's identification, harsher punishments such as months of jail time and higher fines may be incurred.
Sometimes, a person's identity can be taken by utilizing the victim's birthday, Social Security number, or other identifying data.
- Committing fraud with a financial loss of less than $7,500 is classified as a 4th-degree felony. This offense can lead to a jail sentence of up to 1 year and 6 months in jail and fines of $5,000.
- A 3rd-degree felony may be charged if someone incurs losses between $7,500 and $150,000 as a result of an offense they have committed. If they are found guilty, they will face up to 10 years in prison and pay a maximum fine of $10,000.
- Someone may be charged with a 2nd-degree felony if the amount stolen is over $150,000 or between $7,500 and $150,000 and the victim is elderly, disabled, or in the military. This charge carries a penalty of up to 8 years in prison and a fine of $15,000.
- If the victim is elderly, disabled, or an active service member and there was more than $150,000 in financial losses, 1st-degree felony charges are possible with a sentence of up to 11 years in prison and a fine of $20,000.
Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer at TF Law Today!
For a free consultation contact the criminal defense attorneys at TF Law. Call (864) 618-2323 today to speak to our attorney, Adam Touma, who is dedicated to helping his clients get through their cases as streamlined as possible!