Law Office of Jack Kotchick

Defending Your Rights | You Are Innocent Until Proven Guilty

How much trouble can you get into over a fake ID?

Many people think a fake ID is pretty harmless. After all, a lot of today's college students probably grew up hearing stories about their parents using fake IDs to sneak into bars back when they were in school.

Unfortunately, the law doesn't consider fake IDs to be "harmless" in any way -- and a lot has changed in the way that the police tend to approach the situation. Instead of merely having your ID confiscated, you're likely to face serious criminal charges that can alter your life significantly -- and a school disciplinary hearing!

Before you take a chance using a fake ID, here are the things that you should know:

1. You can be charged with the criminal possession of a forged instrument

At the lowest charge, this is a misdemeanor that is punishable by as much as a year in jail. You also run the risk of having your license suspended for a year.

2. If you are convicted, the charge stays with you forever

Maybe you're hoping that the fact that you've never been in trouble with the law will convince a judge to let you off with probation and a fine. You might be right -- but the conviction will still stay on your record as you move forward in life.

While not as damaging as a felony, having any type of conviction in your background can be a problem if you intend to look for an internship, apply for a professional license or hope to one day have a government security clearance. It simply isn't worth the risk.

3. You may face additional consequences with your university or college

Colleges and universities have gotten serious about underage drinking. No school wants to have a reputation as a "party school" that's weak on student discipline. Disciplinary hearings can be swift and most students are unprepared to defend themselves.

It's always wisest to avoid trouble with the law in the first place. If you make a mistake, however, it's important not to let it take over your entire life and affect your future. A consultation with an attorney who handles college crimes can help you determine your options.

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Law Office of Jack Kotchick

95 Court St.
2nd Floor
Binghamton, NY 13901

Phone: 607-821-0551
Fax: 607-296-3408
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