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Illinois Launches New Campaign to Discourage Fake IDs

Posted on in Criminal Law

fake ID cards, fake ID penalties, fake ID use, fake IDs, McHenry County criminal defense attorneyFake IDs have become more and more of a problem for police and bartenders in Illinois in recent years. There is a burgeoning overseas industry that provides sophisticated fake ID cards to underage students over the Internet. These IDs, which can cost as much as $100, include duplicates of sophisticated security measures like printed holograms and black light markings. In order to combat this problem, the Illinois Secretary of State is launching a new campaign targeted at underage fake ID users. The campaign is designed to highlight the severity of using a fake IDs and the high penalties that can come along with it because most people using fake IDs do not realize that using a fake ID comes with much stiffer punishments than mere underage drinking.

Fake ID Penalties

In Illinois, the use of a fake ID is considered a Class 4 Felony. The exact punishments depend upon the judge's discretion, but they can include a prison sentence of between one and three years. Additionally, violators can face a fine of up to $25,000. Courts also have the ability to assign community service and suspend driver's licenses for the use of fake IDs. Teens are often surprised by the severity of these punishments, which largely exist to deter criminals from using fake IDs in more serious crimes and to combat terrorism. However, limitations on sentencing discretion can mean that youths using the IDs to buy alcohol can still receive these high sentences.

In addition to the formal legal penalties for these crimes, high school and college students often risk their futures when using these IDs. College admissions offices and future employers can see student's criminal records, which means that a short-sighted decision as a teenager can leave a person with a difficult-to-explain felony record in the future.

Identity Theft

The Secretary of State is also warning teens using these websites to purchase illegal fake IDs that many of them are unsafe. The sales operations, which advertise themselves as purveyors of “novelty” IDs, are often fronts for identity theft rings. The companies collect the teens' payment information in order to charge them for the ID and then they can use that personal information to take out credit cards or to use credit cards the purchaser already has. Young people make especially good targets for these sorts of thieves because people often only catch identity theft by applying for loans and credit cards or by carefully monitoring their credit score and credit history.

If you have recently been charged with using a fake ID, the consequences of a conviction can follow you for the rest of your life. An experienced McHenry County criminal defense attorney can help ensure that your rights are respected and make sure that the court hears your side of the story.
Illinois State Bar Association State Bar of Wisconsin Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Illinois Trial Lawyers Association McHenry County Bar Association
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