For those under the age of 21, the prospect of a fake ID is pretty tempting. It grants you access to bars, nightclubs, and other places that serve alcohol you wouldn’t have been able to enter otherwise. However, the consequences for possessing a fake ID can be severe. It’s likely that you’ll be caught, especially if you use the ID more than once. In this case, you’ll need an attorney to help you through the process.
The laws for fake IDs vary by state. If you live in South Carolina, here’s what you need to know regarding the possession of a fake ID.
What Is Considered a Fake ID?
In most states, including South Carolina, a fake ID is any identification that contains falsified information. It is also any ID that was not issued by a government agency. It is illegal to forge any documents and bring them to a vendor. In every situation, it’s against the law to request or own a fake ID.
Offenders might use a fake ID to purchase alcohol at a local supermarket, order a drink at a bar, or enter a nightclub. Sometimes, these IDs pass by the careful eyes of the employees, but other times, you’ll get caught.
The Penalties for Possessing a Fake ID
The media often makes the possession of a fake ID look like harmful mischief. What TV teenage sitcoms haven’t shown a teenager in search of a fake ID? Often, hilarity follows. Unlike on television, these situations are nothing to laugh about in the real world. Possessing a fake ID is a criminal offense with harsh penalties. Most counties in South Carolina will file your conviction under the code “Unlawful Use of License, Fraudulent Application.”
The penalty here is up to 30 days in county jail or up to six months for a subsequent offense. You may also have a license suspension for up to a year and be charged with a felony or misdemeanor. These charges will show up on your criminal record.
Anyone who’s involved in the transfer of a fake ID may also be charged. For example, if your cousin who’s over the age of 21 allows you to use his/her license to help defraud your own, they may be punished, as well. The penalty for accomplices is usually between 30 days and six months in jail, a revocation of your driver’s license, and a $2,500 fine.
You should also consider the implications that a conviction can have on your personal life. For example, an arrest of any type may put your college education in jeopardy. You might lose a scholarship, face suspension, or experience another academic disciplinary action.
It can also have a negative impact on your current and future job prospects. Many employers ask if you have a previous conviction, and being arrested for possessing a fake ID may come up in a background check for your job.
Penalties Alongside a DUI
The drinking age has been set at 21 for an important scientific reason: prior to this age, the part of a teenager’s brain that has to do with strong cognitive reasoning has not fully developed. So teenagers who drink are less likely to make smart decisions, like getting a designated driver or knowing when to stop drinking.
If you’re caught with a DUI alongside having a fake ID, the consequences can be even more severe. You face the prospect of longer jail time, a hefty fine, license revocation, and the potential of community service.
If you have a good DUI defense lawyer, they can help minimize your sentence so that it doesn’t have such a negative impact on your life. After all, one bad decision doesn’t have to ruin your future.
Understanding the laws associated with crimes such as possessing a fake ID can be infinitely helpful in keeping yourself and your friends out of trouble. It’s important to stay informed and resist the temptations of underage drinking.