Jun 19

Across the State of Illinois, it is illegal to possess or use a fake ID with false information on it. Referred to legally as fraudulent identification cards, criminal offenders use fake IDs for numerous unlawful purposes. Any person who possesses or even attempts to use a fake ID can face criminal punishment under Illinois law. 


What Qualifies as a Fake ID in Illinois?


The Illinois definition of a fake ID appears in 15 ILCS 335/1A. Under this section, a fake ID refers to any identification card with false information that attempts to be authentic. This term can include real identification cards, altered to feature modified information, and fraudulent cards, created to seem like the real thing. 


How Does Illinois Define Crimes Involving Fake IDs?


Illinois law under 15 ILCS 335/14B provides a breakdown of various crimes involving fake IDs. This section makes it unlawful to knowingly:

  • Possess or display a fake ID;
  • Use or attempt to use a fake ID for the purposes of obtaining a bank, credit, or retail account for financial gain;
  • Possess a fake ID with the intent of committing theft, fraud, or similar acts of deception; 
  • Possess a fake ID with the intent of committing any criminal offense that results in imprisonment for at least one year;
  • Possess a fake ID while having unauthorized access to certain documents, instruments, and devices;
  • Use or attempt to use a fake ID to obtain any other type of identification document;
  • Possess any implements or devices capable of creating a fake ID;
  • Possess any stolen implements or devices capable of creating a fake ID;
  • Manufacture, duplicate, sell, or otherwise transfer any fake ID; or
  • Advertise or distribute any materials that promote fake IDs. 

What is the Illinois Punishment for Fake ID Crimes?


Section 14B also establishes the Illinois punishment for fake ID crimes. Under this section, most fake ID crimes are punishable as a Class 3 felony on the first offense. If convicted, the penalties include two to five years in prison and up to $25,000 in criminal fines. 


On the other hand, a second or subsequent offense generally results in Class 2 felony charges. If convicted, the penalties include three to seven years in prison and up to $25,000 in criminal fines. 


There is also a lesser sentence for fake ID crimes involving the advertisement or distribution of materials that promote fake IDs. In these cases, the offender will face Class A misdemeanor charges instead. If convicted, the maximum punishment includes 364 days in county jail and $2,500 in criminal fines. 


Do You Need Legal Help?


No matter what the criminal offense, all charges are serious. A sound strategy and an aggressive defense are essential for a positive outcome. To protect your rights in such situations, it is highly advisable to retain legal counsel from an experienced criminal defense attorney.


The Prior Law Firm in Bloomington, Illinois, has proven experience in matters of criminal defense. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free consultation. You can reach The Prior Law Firm by phone at (309) 827-4300, email at johnprior@thepriorlawfirm.com or by completing an online form.