Obstructing identification and fraudulent identification cards are related but distinctly separate crimes under Illinois law. When a person provides false information to a police officer, it can qualify as obstructing identification. On the other hand, fraudulent ID laws usually require a person to possess, display, or use a false document. As explained in more detail below, these crimes are also punishable in different ways.
Obstructing Identification in Illinois
720 ILCS 5/31-4.5 provides the Illinois laws against obstructing identification. Under this section, it is unlawful to knowingly provide a false or fictitious name, address, or date of birth to a police officer upon:
- Lawful arrest;
- Lawful detainment; or
- Witness inquiry concerning a criminal offense.
Any person who commits obstructing identification in violation of Section 31-4.5 is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. The maximum punishment for a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois includes 12 months in jail and $2,500 in criminal fines.
Fraudulent Identification in Illinois
15 ILCS 335/14B furnishes the Illinois laws against fraudulent identification cards. Under this section, it is unlawful 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 purpose of obtaining any financial or retail account;
- Possess any fraudulent ID card with the intent to commit theft, deception, or fraud;
- Possess any fraudulent ID card with the intent to commit any crime for which the punishment is imprisonment for at least one year;
- Possess any fraudulent ID card while in authorized possession of any document, instrument, or device capable of fraud;
- Possess any fraudulent ID card with the intent to obtain any other identification document;
- Possess without authority any device capable of making identification cards;
- Possess any stolen device capable of making identification cards;
- Duplicate, manufacture, sell, or transfer any fraudulent ID card; or
- Advertise or distribute any information promoting the selling, giving, or furnishing of any fraudulent ID card.
In most cases, any person who violates Section 14B can face the following penalties:
- First Offense — Class 3 felony punishable by two to five years in prison and up to $25,000 in criminal fines; or
- Second or Subsequent Offense — Class 2 felony punishable by three to seven years in prison and up to $25,000 in criminal fines.
Though in certain cases, offenders may face different penalties, depending on the circumstances of the offense.. For example, advertising fraudulent ID cards is usually a Class A misdemeanor. And possessing or displaying fraudulent ID cards is typically a Class 4 felony.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or by completing an online form.