Having a fake ID is a felony in Florida. Any person who violates Chapter 322 Section 212 as outlined in The 2022 Florida Statutes commits a felony of the third degree. Many teens and young adults may see possession of a fake ID as a harmless offense. It’s even possible to purchase one online using sites such as IDGod, making it seem more like another online purchase and less like a crime. One study found that 12.5% of high school students and 32.2% of college students admitted to possession of a fake ID according to one study. Not only may these students face thousands in legal fees and penalties, they may even face time in prison.
What is a Fake ID
When referring to Fake IDs, most commonly the term is used to describe identity document forgery. Identity document forgery is when a person or entity not authorized by the government to issue legal identification creates fake state or government-issued documents such as driver’s licenses and passports for the purpose of falsifying information.
Fake ID can also refer to the use of another person’s valid state or government-issued identification. Many underage students choose this option when attempting to impersonate another individual who is of legal drinking age. It can also refer to altering or modifying a valid state or government-issued identification to falsify the information on the ID.
All of the above are particularly popular with underage college students wishing to purchase alcohol or nicotine products in the state of Florida where the legal age is 21. Fake IDs are also used to gain entry into bars and clubs that hold a minimum age of 21 for admission.
Penalties for Fake ID Charges
What are the legal consequences for having or using a Fake ID in West Palm Beach or Ft. Lauderdale, Florida? No matter the circumstances, any crime involving a fake ID is considered a serious crime and is charged as a felony by the state of Florida.
Knowingly possessing, using, selling, manufacturing, or even delivering a fake ID is considered a third-degree felony in Florida. Additionally, attempting to barter, trade, sell or giveaway a legal identification card is also considered a 3rd-degree felony. 3rd-degree felonies are punishable in Florida by up to 5 years in prison, a $5000 fine, and/or 5 years of probation. Not only that, but your driver’s license may also be suspended for up to a year.
Attempting to apply for a driver license or identification card using a fake name, fake date of birth, or otherwise concealing information is considered fraud. This would be charged as a second-degree misdemeanor by the state of Florida. Altering information on a legally issued identification card such as a name or date of birth is also a second-degree misdemeanor. Although not as serious as a felony, misdemeanors should still be taken seriously. The penalties for a second-degree misdemeanor in Florida may include a sentence of up to 60 days in jail, a fine of up to $500, and/or a probation period of up to 6 months.
This is why contacting a licensed Florida Criminal Defense Attorney is crucial to defend your rights in West Palm Beach or Ft. Lauderdale. Oftentimes, an experienced lawyer can fight on your behalf to reach a favorable outcome.
In the case of a college or university student facing charges, oftentimes the school will issue their own disciplinary hearing and consequences in addition to the legal penalties from law enforcement. The consequences for possession of a fake ID by a college or university can include academic probation, exclusion from campus events, removal of scholarships, and even expulsion.
It is important to note that any individual who is a designated sexual predator or sexual offender is required by law to have a driver's license or identification card with the proper designation. If the sexual predator or sexual offender identifying marking is not displayed or removed, as would be the case with a Fake ID, this is also considered a 3rd-degree felony in the state of Florida.
What does the law say about Unauthorized Possession of a Driver’s License or an ID Card
A Driver’s License or ID card could be considered a third-degree felony in the state of Florida if it is
- Blank or
- Unlawfully issued
It is also important to consider that when handling a case involving a Fake ID, it is highly likely that there are other charges involved. These additional charges may include underage possession of alcohol, drug possession, a DUI, or even a firearms and weapons charge. For those who have already been convicted of at least two felonies prior, a third felony conviction will mean mandatory jail time as required by Florida law.
West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney for Possession of Fake ID in Florida
If you or your child have been recently charged with possession of a fake ID in West Palm Beach or Ft. Lauderdale, speak with a criminal defense attorney today. Matthew Konecky has over a decade of experience in Florida defending criminal law cases and is dedicated to defending the rights of his clients. Please contact us or call us at (561) 671-5995.