Depending on who you believe, studies suggest that a third of all college students under the age of 21 use or possess a fake ID for the purpose of purchasing and consuming alcohol. This is according to research from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Likewise, one Tennessee college newspaper, the University Echo, reports that as many as 40 percent of students surveyed admitted to using a fake ID.
But using a fake ID is a crime, and not a little one. There can be both state and federal charges that can ruin a young person’s life. Here’s what you need to know about getting busted with a fake ID in Maryland.
Using a Fake ID
Under Maryland’s Transportation Code, Section 16-301, it’s a misdemeanor to just possess or use a fake ID. This can mean up to a $500 fine and 6 months in jail.
Selling a Fake ID
Maryland is much tougher on the sale and distribution of fraudulent government identification. This offense is a felony. It carries a sentence of up to 2 years in prison and fines of up to $2,000.
Under 18 U.S.C. 1028, federal law makes it a very serious crime to falsify or fraudulently manufacture government identification. Under federal law, a person convicted of selling, manufacturing, or distributing fake identifications can be punished with up to 15 years in prison. Second offenses or offenses where the fake ID was used for the purpose of committing a violent or drug-related crime raise the sentence to 20 years.
It’s not just driver’s licenses that can be used as fakes. Here are some of the types of government documents that can trigger federal charges:
Just using a fake ID is the least serious of all the related offenses. So, for the most part, the police do not focus their attention on the end-user. Police are more concerned with finding out who is making and distributing fake IDs. If you are found to be in possession of a fake ID, the police will want to know where you got it. This is how innocent people are often wrongfully charged.
In many cases, someone loses an ID and forgets to report it. Then someone gets caught using it as a fake and says he or she was just ‘holding on to it’ for the real owner. While innocent enough, this can lead to serious charges of illegal distribution.
If your son or daughter has been charged with a fake ID crime while away at college, or maybe someone has used your ID and accused you of giving it to them, you need legal representation now. Do not wait for the situation to get worse. Todd K. Mohink, P.A. has years of experience helping people charged with criminal offenses throughout Maryland. With offices conveniently located in Howard and Anne Arundel counties, help is just a phone call away. Call or visit us online to learn more.
7310 Ritchie Highway, Suite 910
Glen Burnie, MD 21061
30 Corporate Center
10440 Little Patuxent Parkway,
Columbia, MD 21044