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What happens to underage individuals caught using a fake ID?

On Behalf of | Dec 27, 2022 | Criminal Defense, Underage Drinking and Driving |

Businesses that sell alcoholic beverages, recreational drugs or nicotine risk hefty fines if they sell to underage customers. Underage consumers using a fake ID can also find themselves in legal trouble if caught. Using a fake ID is illegal in Colorado.

The violations can include:

  • An altered ID
  • An ID with false information
  • A counterfeit ID
  • A reproduction of a valid ID
  • A legitimate ID presented under pretenses

The legal penalties

Depending on the circumstances surrounding the charges, possessing or using a fake ID is either a misdemeanor or a felony. For example, using a fake ID to get into a college bar is typically a misdemeanor or a ticket, especially if it is the first offense. Using a false identity to commit fraud or identity theft is a felony. The penalties escalate if the individual maintains a false identity when police become involved. The standard penalties can include:

  • Time in jail
  • Large fines
  • Probation or restorative justice
  • Community service
  • Driver’s license suspension
  • A ticket

Students caught using a fake ID may also suffer other penalties — high schools or colleges may expel the student from school. Short of that, school clubs or teams will eject a student for a code of conduct violation.

Parents often need to step in

Parents often step in if the authorities catch a kid making a poor judgment call. Some parents may even want to let the law teach the child a lesson, but a criminal record can follow the child for years, impacting their ability to get a job, find a place to live or get student aid. Experienced legal counsel to address issues tied to a fake ID can be the difference between a lesson learned and a life-altering punishment.