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What is the definition of a fake ID in Washington, D.C.?

Fake identification or fake ID is any fraudulent copy of a government issued I.D. card or any authentic government I.D. card that was not issued to you, i.e. someone else’s drivers license that you use to falsely misrepresent yourself.

What to do if you're accused of having a fake ID

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What are the most common charges associated with a fake ID?

Among college students, fake IDs are typically used to misrepresent age to purchase alcohol or enter bars and nightclubs with age restrictions. Most charges involving alcohol are considered an ABC violation (as with underage drinking) and are typically punishable by a misdemeanor sentence accompanied by a $300 fine and loss of driving privileges.

However, using a fake ID to purchase something other than alcohol, such as a firearm or renting a car under a false name, can lead to more serious charges. Production, manufacture and sale of fake IDs (local, state or federal identification) also will be accompanied by a more severe sentence.

If I am caught in possession of a fake ID but am not using it to purchase alcohol or get into a bar, can I still receive fake ID charges?

Yes, remember that possession of a fake ID for the purpose of establishing a false identification is still against the law, regardless of the intent to use it.

If I have an old expired ID that belongs to someone else, can I receive fake ID charges?

Yes, using someone else’s old ID card is considered misrepresentation of your identity, and can actually get that person into trouble as well. Consequently, if you give your old ID away, be wary that the holder of your old ID puts you at risk for criminal charges when they use your card. For example, if someone rents a car with your old ID and causes an accident, your name is associated with the incident and could possibly lead to charges being put onto you. Tampering with an old ID can also be considered forging or tampering with a government document.

How does my college or university’s code of conduct define fake IDs?

Most D.C. universities define fake IDs in accordance with the misrepresentation of age in order to obtain alcohol or entry into an establishment that requires proof of legal drinking age; however, the code of conduct may add on that the failure to produce official university ID to a university official upon request can also fall into this category and be considered a violation of the student code of conduct. Universities also  consider the use of a school ID card by anyone other than the person that it is issued to be  a violation of university rules and giving someone else your  student ID card to use can lead to discipline charges being brought against you by your university. Manufacture of not only false drivers licenses but also fake university IDs also  violate the student codes of conduct.

Will my college or university find out if I am caught using a fake ID if I am caught off campus? What are my college or university’s consequences for being caught with a fake ID?

In Washington, D.C., the Metropolitan Police Department communicates regularly with campus police and university administrators. Consequently, criminal charges stemming from off-campus student conduct can lead to disciplinary proceedings at your college/university. Common sanctions include loss of campus housing, probation, suspension, or expulsion.

What should I do if I am caught with a Fake I.D.?

If you find yourself facing criminal or university charges involving fake IDs, it is important to discuss your case with a criminal defense attorney experienced handling cases of college students accused of possession or use of a fake I.D. A defense attorney will be able to help you protect your education and your future.

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