Many find out the hard way that getting caught with or using a fake ID is not a slap on the wrist. A lot of young adults and college students find out after it’s too late. The penalties for having or using fake IDs vary depending on how many the person possessed and for what purpose they had them or were using them. Do not confuse fake IDs with identity theft which involves using someone else’s identity to purchase things or receive money.
Defining a Fake ID
The main statute covering fake IDs is MCL 28.295. It states that no one shall intentionally reproduce, alter, counterfeit, forge, or duplicate an official state identification card or driver’s license or use an official state identification card that has been reproduced, altered, counterfeited, forged or duplicated.
Penalties for Fake IDs
Possession or Possession with the Intent to Sell
- Possession of a fake ID with the intent to commit a felony punishable by 10 years or more— a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or $20,000 in fines
- Possession of a fake ID with the intent to commit a felony punishable by less than 10 years or a misdemeanor punishable by six months or more—a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and/or $10,000 in fines
- Possession of a fake ID with the intent to commit a misdemeanor punishable by less than six months—a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or $2,000 in fines
- Possession of two or more fake IDs, possession with the intent to sale a fake ID, or selling a fake ID—a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and/or $10,000 in fines
- Possession of one fake ID—a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or $2,000 in fines
Stealing the ID of another or using a stolen ID card—a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail
Using a Stolen ID to Commit a Felony—a felony punishable by the maximum amounts of the felony that was committed
Using a Fake ID to Purchase Alcohol—a misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail and/or $100 in fines. Commonly occurs with minor in possession of alcohol charges.
Defenses to Fake ID Charges
- Lack of Intent—these charges are “specific intent” crimes meaning the defendant must intentionally possess the fake IDs or have the intention of committing a crime with the fake IDs if the subsection requires it.
- Legitimate Business Purpose—a defendant cannot be convicted if the fake IDs were possessed for legitimate business purposes.
Possession of a Fake Credit Card—Under MCL 750.157n(2) anyone who knowingly possesses a fraudulent or altered financial transaction device (credit card, debit card, ATM card) is guilty of a felony punishable by up to four years in prison and/or $5,000 in fines. This is separate from credit card fraud that involves using, possessing, or secreting information from someone else’s credit card without their permission.
Michigan Fake ID Defense Lawyer
Using, possessing, or selling fake IDs can have serious consequences. If you have been charged with any offense involving a fake ID or fake credit card, contact Austin Legal Services, PLC at (517) 614-1983 to speak to a Michigan criminal defense attorney today!
Defending fake ID charges throughout Michigan in the counties of Ingham, Eaton, Clinton, Gratiot, Livingston, Washtenaw, Jackson, Kent, Barry, Kalamazoo, Calhoun, Shiawassee in the cities of Lansing, East Lansing, Mason, Charlotte, St. Johns, Ithaca, Brighton, Howell, Ann Arbor, Jackson, Grand Rapids, Hastings, Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Corunna, Durand.