You’re 20 years old, and it just seems ridiculous that you can live on your own, sign for a loan and do everything else an adult is able to do – except order a beer in a bar with your friends. That’s why you’re thinking about getting a fake ID. You don’t really feel like you’re doing anything wrong.
Unfortunately for you (and anybody else who makes this kind of mistake) that’s not how the law sees it. If you’re caught with a fake ID on you, the penalties can be quite serious.
Fake IDs are big business (and spotting them is part of a bartender’s job)
Fake IDs have been a thriving business for a long time – and the ways people get their hands on fake IDs just keep changing. Today, there are online websites (largely operated by other countries where there are fewer regulations) where you can buy a fake ID pretty easily, which makes people even bolder about using them.
However, bartenders, bouncers and liquor store owners all know that there are fakes out there, and they’ve gotten increasingly savvy about spotting them. While some will simply confiscate a fake and boot you off their premises, others won’t hesitate to call in the police.
It may seem to you that a fake ID is pretty low on the list of things that the police may worry about, but don’t be fooled: That fake ID could get you charged with anything from a Class B misdemeanor (at best) to a Class D felony (at worst). In practical terms, that means you could be looking at anywhere from 90 days in jail to five years behind bars, and anywhere from a $250 fine to a $10,000 one.
The bottom line here is that it’s far wiser to just wait a year (or two or three) until you’re old enough to buy a drink legally than to risk the complications from a fake ID. If you’ve already made a mistake, however, experienced legal guidance can help mitigate the damage to your life.