Many fake ID crimes involve people under 21 or 18 who are trying to buy cigarettes or alcohol. While this may not seem like a big deal to young adults, being charged with a fake ID-related crime should be taken very seriously.
According to 15 ILCS § 335/14B, it is illegal for anyone to knowingly do any of the following:
- Possess or exhibit a fraudulent ID
- Possess or exhibit a fraudulent ID to obtain any account, credit, and/or credit or debit card from a bank, financial institution, or retailer
- Possess a fraudulent ID with the intent to commit a theft or credit or debit card fraud
- Possess a fraudulent ID with the intent to commit other crimes punishable by one or more years of imprisonment
- Possess a fraudulent ID if they also illegally possess a device, instrument, and/or document capable of defrauding someone else
- Possess a fraudulent ID with the intent to obtain other identification documents
- Possess a device capable of creating IDs without authority
- Possess a stolen ID card creation tool
- Duplicate, manufacture, sell, or transfer fraudulent ID
- Advertise or distribute information or materials promoting the sale or creation of fraudulent IDs
Charges & Penalties for Crimes Involving Fake IDs
Violating fake ID law is can be punished as a misdemeanor or felony depending on the offense. Being convicted of a misdemeanor or felony will stay on an offender’s record—even young teens’ records—forever. This can negatively impact job searches, college acceptances, housing opportunities, and certain rights (firearms privileges).
You can be convicted of a:
- Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by up $2,500 in fines and a year of imprisonment, if you advertise or distribute promotional materials related to fake IDs
- Class 4 felony, which is punishable by up to $25,000 in fines and 1-3 years of imprisonment, if you simply possess or display a fake ID
- Class 3 felony, which is punishable by up to $25,000 in fines and 5-10 years of imprisonment, if you violate the fake ID-related offenses listed on lines 2-9 (see previous bulleted list)
- Class 2 felony, which is punishable by up to $25,000 in fines and 7-14 years of imprisonment, if you are a second-time (or subsequent) offender who has violated list items 2-9
What to Do if Your Teen has a Fake ID
As previously mentioned, there are serious penalties associated with having or using a fake ID for any reason. If you discover your teen has a fake ID, you should have a serious conversation with them. Here are a few tips that may help guide the conversation:
- Don’t approach the conversation angrily. You have a right to be upset and worried and maybe even scared if you discover your teen has a fake ID. However, try not to be confrontational or accusatory at the start of the conversation. Listening to why they wanted the fake ID is important. You can get a better understanding of whether they are holding it for a friend or if it’s theirs, how long they’ve had it, etc. Having a clear head can also ensure that you say everything you want to.
- Highlight the consequences. There are social and legal consequences for convictions of any kind. While their friends and everyone else at school may have a fake ID, encourage your teen to look up the state laws and conviction penalties. Share what you know about the consequences as well. If your teen has the ID in order to drink, also remind them of the consequences of underage drinking and/or addiction.
- Share why you are worried and/or upset. You wouldn’t be so disappointed if you didn’t love them and have their best interests in mind. Share not only how much you love them but also your own bad experiences (if applicable) with trying to fit in or grow up too fast.
- Set clear boundaries. You can tell your teen that you will not allow the ID to remain in their possession. If you’re worried about other fake IDs, you can also implement new rules—such as a random room or wallet check, earlier curfew, etc.—to reestablish trust and discourage the use or possession of fake IDs.
- Explain their punishment. If you choose to punish your teen, outline your reasoning. If it’s no allowance for a month, connect that to the fines associated with a conviction. If it’s being grounded, remind them of the associated jail time. Doing this can help really drive home how serious the situation is.
Contact the Law Office of Steven Fine
If you or a loved one has been charged with a fake ID-related offense, immediately contact the Law Office of Steven Fine. Our attorney has over 20 years of legal experience and can work to:
- Help you understand the legal options available to you at this time
- Develop a solid defense strategy
- Negotiate a fair plea deal to reduce penalties