The fake ID may be a staple of teen comedy films, and it may be enjoyable to watch depictions of characters in high school or college trying to convince liquor store owners and nightclub bouncers that they are older than they appear. However, getting caught with a falsified driver’s license or identification card in real life is not as humorous as it is in the movies. This is a serious offense that may result in felony charges, and Florida citizens should take care to be aware of the real-life consequences ordained by state law for these unlawful acts. Here is everything you need to know about Florida fake ID laws.
What Exactly is Illegal?
Florida Statute 322.212 bears this description at the top: “Unauthorized possession of, and other unlawful acts in relation to, driver license or identification card” (the statute defines “identification card” as any kind of card used “for the purpose of indicating a person’s true name and age”). While merely having a fake ID on you is a criminal act in itself, there are a variety of other acts related to fake IDs that constitute breaking the law.
According to Statute 322.212, these acts include:
- Knowingly owning or displaying any kind of ID that does not belong to you, except if authorized by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). That can mean a license or identification card that is “blank, forged, stolen, fictitious, counterfeit, or unlawfully issued.”
- Knowingly selling, manufacturing, or delivering a license or ID that is any kind of the above: “blank, forged, stolen, fictitious, counterfeit, or unlawfully issued.” Even offering to do any of those acts is illegal.
- For DMV employees specifically, issuing a license or ID to someone while knowing they have not met all the requirements.
- Giving a false name or any other kind of information when applying for a license or any other kind of official ID – this would be considered fraud. Also related is possessing ID with a false birthdate.
- For people designated as sexual predators or sexual offenders, possessing an ID that does not show the required markings as they are supposed to be displayed.
What are the Penalties?
Certain breaches of Florida fake ID laws have lower penalties than others. Committing fraud while applying for a license or ID card and possessing ID with a false birthdate are both considered second-degree misdemeanors. You may not only be punished with 60 days of prison and a fine of $500 but also be slapped with a year-long suspension of your driver’s license.
As for all the rest, Statute 322.212 states that charges for breaking any of the other laws are felonies of the third degree. That means that if you are convicted of doing pretty much anything involving a license or ID card that either should not belong to you or has been altered from how it should look, you may have to spend up to five years in prison with $5,000 in fines.
As you can see, all this is significantly tougher than just being barred from entering a club or buying alcohol. While fake ID incidents may make for comedy fodder in teen movies, the actual penalties under Florida law are anything but humorous.
If you or a loved one face any charges related to Florida fake ID laws, you need to retain the services of a skillful criminal defense lawyer who can represent you in court. Anyone living in or near the Broward County area is welcome to contact the Law Offices of Michael A. Gottlieb, P.A. Our experienced attorneys will be aggressive in fighting for your case, and we will do everything we can to lower the severity of your charges or get them dismissed altogether. Call us today at <a href=”tel:9544621005”>(954) 462-1005</a> for a free consultation and more information.