Everyone knows that carrying false identification is illegal, but what happens if you get caught with a fake ID in VA? What if it’s not technically fake, but it doesn’t belong to you? Can you be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony?
On the flip side, what happens if someone uses a fake ID, and you accidentally sell liquor to a minor? The Commonwealth of Virginia has rules about all of that and more.
What is a fake id?
A false or forged identification card is a concern to the government because of identity theft, voter fraud, benefits theft, and underage drinking.
Most people think of Driver’s Licenses when they think of fake IDs, but there are actually other documents that count in that category:
- Driver License
- State ID
- Social Security Card
- US Passport
- Birth Certificate
- US Armed Forces ID Card
- Foreign Visa
- Student ID
It is illegal to produce or to possess a false or forged identification card.
What is the penalty for getting caught with a fake ID?
The Commonwealth of Virginia is one of the strictest states about fake IDs, so it does not pay to take chances.
If you are caught using a fake ID to buy alcohol when you are underage, you can be charged with both possessing or presenting a false ID and with unlawfully possessing alcohol, doubling the possible penalty you will be facing.
If you are caught using someone else’s ID as your own (even if the other person said it was okay), then you can be charged with a Class 6 Felony for identity fraud. This means you could do up to 5 years in jail.
Additionally, if you are convicted of possessing or using a fake ID, that conviction is never expunged from your record. Under current Virginia law, that conviction will follow you to every job application, loan application, college application, and background check for the rest of your life.
If you are charged with identity fraud, you may have trouble ever getting a job. That’s why it is of utmost importance to work with an experienced attorney who can work to keep that off of your record, if possible. Cook Attorneys is standing by to help, with a 24-hr contact form and friendly, knowledgeable staff who can set you up with a free consultation.
To learn more about fake ID laws in Virginia, see the Virginia state code.
What if I sold alcohol to a minor?
If you work in an establishment that sells alcohol in VA, your job is to be certain you sell alcohol only to people 21 or older. If you check IDs regularly, you will easily spot many fake ones.
If you sell alcohol to a minor, you can be charged with a Class 1 Misdemeanor. This means you could face up to one year in jail and/or up to $2,500 in fines.
If you accept a fake ID, but it is such a good fake that you can’t tell, you may have a defense to a charge of selling to an underage person. Contact Cook Attorneys to help you avoid a conviction and keep your job.
What do I do if I have been charged with possession of a fake ID in virginia?
If you or a loved one have been charged with possessing a fake ID—especially if that charge was combined with another one—you need to contact an experienced local attorney right away. Local attorneys are familiar with the courts, the judges, and the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office, and they will be able to negotiate the best possible outcome.
Sometimes, the best possible outcome looks like probation instead of jail time, reduced charges, or community service instead of fines. Each case is different, and we would be happy to talk to you about your options and how we can work specifically for you on a personalized basis.
Cook Attorneys has been practicing in Harrisonburg, VA for more than 20 years, and we know how to work hard on your behalf. Our fake ID lawyers can help you or your loved one each step
of the way, and can even sometimes keep you out of court. Contact us today to set up a free consultation!