Across the State of Illinois, it is often a crime to possess or use a fraudulent ID card, which is also referred to as a “fake ID.” In more recent times, the General Assembly created a new law that prohibits any person from obstructing identification. Although these offenses might seem similar, they are actually completely separate crimes.
How Does Illinois Define and Punish Obstructing Identification?
The Illinois laws against obstructing identification appear at 720 ILCS 5/31-4.5. Under this section, it is unlawful to intentionally or knowingly supply a false or fictitious name, address, or birthdate to a police officer who has:
- Arrested the person in question lawfully;
- Detained the person in question lawfully; or
- Requested information from a person, when there is good cause to believe that the person witnessed a crime.
A violation of Section 31-4.5 is normally charged as a Class A misdemeanor. If convicted, the punishment can include a maximum of 12 months in jail and $2,500 in criminal fines, either or both.
How Does Illinois Define and Punish Fake IDs?
The Illinois laws against fake IDs appear at 15 ILCS 335/14B. Under this section, it is illegal for any person to knowingly:
- Possess, display, or cause to be displayed any fraudulent ID card;
- Possess, display, or cause to be displayed any fraudulent ID card for the purposes of obtaining financial accounts, such as a credit or debit card;
- Possess any fraudulent ID card with the intent to commit a theft, deception, or fraud;
- Possess any fraudulent ID card with the intent to commit any offense that would result in a term of imprisonment of at least one year;
- Possess any fraudulent ID card while in unauthorized possession of any document, instrument, or device capable of fraud;
- Possess any fraudulent ID card with the intent to obtain any other identification;
- Possess without authority any implement capable of producing ID cards;
- Possess any stolen implement capable of producing ID cards;
- Duplicate, manufacture, sell, transfer any fraudulent ID card; or
- Advertise or promote the selling, giving, or furnishing of fraudulent ID cards.
Under Section 14B, it is a Class 4 felony to knowingly possess, display, or cause to be displayed any fraudulent ID card. If convicted, the punishment can include a prison sentence between one and three years as well as criminal fines up to $25,000.
With the exception of advertising or promoting fake IDs — which is a Class A misdemeanor — the other violations of Section 14B are normally charged as Class 3 felonies on the first offense. If convicted, the punishment can include a prison sentence between two and five years as well as criminal fines up to $25,000.
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 email@example.com or by completing an online form.