In order to purchase alcohol or tobacco unlawfully in Illinois, it is relatively common for underage minors to possess and use fake IDs. But any person who commits a violation involving fake IDs — legally referred to as fraudulent identification cards — can face incredibly severe consequences under Illinois law.
What are the Illinois Laws Against Fake IDs?
The Illinois laws against fake IDs appear under 15 ILCS 335/14B. This section makes it unlawful for any person to knowingly:
- Possess or display any fake ID;
- Possess or display any fake ID for the purposes of opening a financial account;
- Possess any fake ID with the intent to commit theft, fraud, or deception;
- Possess any fake ID with the intent to commit any other criminal offense with a sentence of confinement for at least one year;
- Possess any fake ID while also in possession of any document, device, or instrument capable of defrauding someone else;
- Possess any fake ID with the intent of using it to acquire any other type of identification document;
- Possess any implement or device capable of making an identification card, without legal authority;
- Possess any stolen implement or device capable of making an identification card;
- Manufacture, duplicate, sell, or transfer any fake ID; or
- Advertise or distribute any information or materials that promote selling or furnishing any fake ID.
What are the Illinois Penalties for Fake IDs?
The Illinois penalties for fake ID violations also appear under Section 14B. But the corresponding charges and penalties do fluctuate based on the nature of the offense.
If a person advertises or distributes information about obtaining fake IDs, they will likely face Class A misdemeanor charges. A conviction for this type of charge in Illinois can lead to a maximum of $2,500 in criminal fines and 12 months in jail.
But if a person possesses or displays any fake ID, they will likely face Class 4 felony charges. A conviction for this type of charge in Illinois can lead to a maximum of $25,000 in criminal fines and one to three years in prison.
All other violations of Section 14B involving fake IDs feature the same penalty scheme. Though the punishment does change based on the number of previous violations, if any, as explained below:
- First Violation — Class 3 felony with a maximum punishment of $25,000 in criminal fines and two to five years in prison; or
- Second or Subsequent Violation — Class 2 felony with a maximum punishment of $25,000 in criminal fines and three to seven years in prison.
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.