Many college students and others in their late teens or early twenties obtain fake IDs without much thought. They assume that the worst thing that can happen is that their ID will be confiscated and they’ll lose out on their investment. The truth is that using a fake ID with the intent to defraud another person can be charged as a felony with as long as three years in state prison. Read on to learn more about this charge and what it can mean. Then contact Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 for a free legal consultation.
What qualifies as a fake ID?
According to the Penal Code, a fake ID is some type of government-issued identification (usually a driver’s license) that’s been duplicated, counterfeited, altered, forged, or reproduced. In short, if you have an ID issued by the state or federal government, and you alter it in any way, then it can be considered a fake ID.
What does it mean to be in possession of a fake ID?
This may seem simple but the truth is that you don’t actually need to have a fake ID on your person in order to be charged with possession of a fake ID. The law defines it as having it somewhere that you have control over. That can be in your pocket or it can be in your home, as long as the police can prove that you had enough control over the space in which it was found that it can be considered your property.
What does it mean to have “intent to commit a forgery”?
Simply possessing a fake ID doesn’t automatically make you guilty of committing or attempting to commit a forgery. Forger requires that you both used the fake ID to deceive (or attempt to deceive) another person and that you caused some type of loss or damage, whether legally, financially, or directly to property. Essentially, if you have a fake ID and use it to deceive someone, then you can be charged with intending to commit a forgery.
What are the potential penalties for possession of a fake ID in California?
This charge is what’s known as a wobbler, which means that it can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor. How serious the charge will be depends on the evidence against you, how serious the offense was, and any criminal record you have. If you’re charged with a misdemeanor you can be looking at up to a year in jail and fines of up to $1,000. A conviction for a felony can come with up to three years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.
What do I do if I’m charged with possession a fake ID?
Contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. When you reach out to Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055, we’ll start you off with a free legal consultation. During this consultation, we’ll assess the basic evidence against you and let you know what your options are. Call us today to get started.