Possibly. Virginia laws issue strict punishments for fake identification usage. Unfortunately, minors sometimes purchase and use fake IDs to engage in the underage purchase of alcohol or other activities illegal for people under age 21. If you’re facing charges for a fake ID crime, reduce the punishments in Virginia with the essential guidance of an experienced Manassas criminal defense attorney at The Wilson Law Firm. Our legal team can defend you and help you achieve the best possible outcome, given your situation.
What is a Fake ID Under Virginia Law?
A fake ID, also known as a false or forged identification, refers to any document altered, developed, forged, or fraudulently obtained to misrepresent your identity. These include, but aren’t limited to:
- Drivers’ licenses
- Identification cards
- Military IDs
- College or university IDs
- Birth certificates
- Social Security cards
- Foreign visas
What Are Virginia's Fake ID Laws?
Virginia Code § 18.2-204.1 and Virginia Code § 18.2-204.2 specifically address the use of false identification. According to these statutes, it’s unlawful to knowingly possess or display a fake birth certificate ID, driver’s license, or other ID with the intent to establish a false identity. This includes using such identification to enter an age-restricted establishment, purchase alcohol, tobacco, or any other age-restricted goods, or engage in any illegal activity.
Possessing a fake birth certificate is a Class 1 misdemeanor. The possession of a fake driver's license or a school ID would be charged as a Class 2 misdemeanor.
An individual could also be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor for selling, manufacturing, producing, or advertising a fake ID. However, the crime would be a Class 6 felony if they manufactured, sold, or transferred a fake birth certificate, even if it was produced for their own use.
Fake ID Crimes: Punishments and Penalties in Virginia
The potential penalties are severe if you’re found guilty of using a fake ID under Virginia Code 18.2-204.1 or 18.2-204.2. Your sentence depends on many factors, like the circumstances of your arrest and your prior criminal history. Here are the fake ID punishments in Virginia.
Class 1 Misdemeanor
A first-offense Class 1 misdemeanor conviction may result in a fine of up to $2,500 and up to 12 months in jail.
Class 2 Misdemeanor
The punishments can include a maximum jail sentence of 6 months and a fine not to exceed $1,000.
Class 6 Felony
If you’re convicted of a Class 6 felony, you could be sentenced to up to five years in prison. However, the judge or jury may reduce the penalty to a jail sentence not to exceed 12 months and a fine of up to $2,500.
A conviction for using a fake ID will result in a permanent criminal record, which could have long-term consequences on future employment opportunities, education prospects, and other aspects of your life.