Many college students and young people use fake IDs to get alcohol before they turn 21. In many cases, this may seem like a victimless crime that doesn’t hurt anyone but yourself. However, these offenses are taken pretty seriously in Utah, and could land you with multiple penalties, including a drivers’ license suspension. Even if you weren’t driving under the influence you could still face license suspensions.
If you or your child was charged with crimes involving a fake ID or underage drinking, talk to a defense attorney today. Salt Lake City criminal defense lawyer Darwin Overson of Overson Law represents those charged with crimes in Salt Lake City and the surrounding areas, and fights to protect your rights in court.
Crimes for Using a False ID in Utah
There are multiple crimes that may come into play if you were caught using a fake ID. Some are related to the ID itself, while others are based on what you were trying to do with the fake ID. Regardless of what you are charged with, the penalties always have a chance of being more severe than you may think, so talk to a criminal defense attorney about your case right away.
Under Utah Code § 32B-1-403, it is illegal to use false “proof of age” to obtain alcohol. This includes actually purchasing alcohol, gaining access to an over-21 establishment/area (e.g. a bar), or getting a job that minors can’t legally have. This is ultimately a class A misdemeanor, but carries other penalties as well.
Another crime related to fake IDs involves giving your fake ID to law enforcement. This is a crime under Utah Code § 76-8-507. In Utah, it is illegal to give a police officer a fake ID. If you lie about your name, birthday, or address when a cop asks, you are committing a crime. If you just give fake, made-up information, it is a class C misdemeanor, but if you use someone else’s real information, it is a worse, class A misdemeanor.
If you produce fake personal information in an attempt to defraud someone, you may be committing the crime of forgery. Under Utah Code § 76-6-501, it is illegal to alter a writing or document by claiming to be someone else, claiming to act on their behalf, falsifying an account number, or altering a writing without permission. This can include modifying or “forging” identification documents. This is a third degree felony in Utah.
Alternatively, under the same statute, you could commit the crime of “producing or transferring any false identification document.” This is aimed at stopping people who produce, sell, or transfer fake ID cards. However, it may also include “producing” a false identification document, which could technically include attempting to use it anywhere for any purpose. This carries the harsh classification of a second degree felony.
Penalties for Fake ID Crimes in Salt Lake City
Using a fake ID as proof that you are 21 is probably the most common problem for people concerned with false ID charges. This carries harsh punishments in Utah, since it is classified as a class A misdemeanor. This means the potential of up to a year in jail and fines up to $2,500. However, these penalties are often modified by Utah Code § 32B-4-411. Instead, for a first offense, this is a class B misdemeanor with up to 6 months in jail and fines up to $1,000. For people under 21, this could also include a drivers’ license suspension. The suspension period may be reduced, however, if it is a first offense and you participate in educational classes and substance abuse treatment.
Giving false ID to a police officer is either a class C or class A misdemeanor. For a class C misdemeanor, the potential penalty is up to 90 days in jail and fines up to $750. Again, a class A misdemeanor carries a potential of up to one year in jail and fines up to $2,500.
The penalties for forgery or producing false identification are much more severe. Since these crimes deal with the fraud and distribution aspects of falsified documents, the penalties are even higher. Forgery is a third degree felony, punished with up to 5 years in prison and fines up to $5,000. Producing false identification is a second degree felony with 1-15 years in prison and fines up to $10,000. In many cases, this is an extremely harsh penalty for giving a false ID, but may technically apply.
Talk to an attorney to see what your options are to reduce the charges to one of the less serious alternatives above. You don’t have to face charges like these without an attorney.
Utah False ID Attorney
If you or your child was charged with a crime for using a fake ID to get alcohol, talk to a lawyer today. Salt Lake City defense attorney Darwin Overson helps people fight underage drinking charges, juvenile charges, and serious felony charges in Utah. Call today for a free consultation, at (801) 758-2287.