As the new school year gets underway, many students are experiencing a whole new world of opportunity. Incoming college freshmen, in particular, may be enjoying a sense of freedom that they have never felt before. Many students will use this newfound independence to develop an identity as an adult and to practice self-discipline. For others, however, this means underage drinking and the use of fake IDs to buy alcohol or to get into bars and clubs. While they may seem like rites of passage for college students, both are against the law, and can lead to serious consequences and criminal penalties.
Several Applicable Laws
In Illinois, there are a number of statutes that expressly address the use of a falsified identification card or driver’s license. The Illinois Vehicle Code, the Illinois Identification Card Act, and the Illinois Liquor Control Act all contain provisions prohibiting the possession of a fake ID and the fictitious use of a legitimate identification card. Depending upon the circumstances of each case, the applicable law and the subsequent penalties may vary. Prosecution, however, will generally range from a Class A misdemeanor, with a $500 minimum fine, to a Class 4 felony, with the same minimum fine but increased maximum penalties.
Beyond the criminal penalties provided in the various statutes, the Secretary of State’s Office has been granted the authority to enforce administrative sanctions as well. Specifically, any person who is convicted of possessing or using a fake or fictitious ID will have his or her driving privileges suspended for one year. Such penalties may be imposed in addition to those related to underage drinking, if warranted by the situation.
If you or your child has been charged with the underage drinking or possession of a fake ID, an experienced criminal defense attorney in Schaumburg, Illinois, can be an invaluable asset. Attorney Matthew Gebhardt is a former Cook County prosecutor who understands the Illinois justice system and is committed to helping you and your family navigate a potentially dangerous situation. He and his team will work with you to explore your options and to find the best possible solution for your case. Call 773-383-8745 to schedule your consultation today.