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What Really Happens When You’re Busted for a Fake ID?

Whether its a shiny, immaculate fake ID you’ve ordered from online, or a hand-me-down from an older friend, the use of a fake ID — or really any form of fraudulent identification — has differing repercussions depending on where you are in the country. Espeocially across every college town in the nation, students are using fake ID’s to gain access to bars and experience some fun nights out. Next time you use your fake ID, make sure it’s a good one because getting turned away by a bouncer could be the least of your problems. From having said bouncer take your ID and give it over to a cop, getting arrested and charged with a misdemeanor, or even in some states — a felony, it really could turn a fun night into a terrible experience. Always be responsible and if you’re going to be using one (as we know every college student will) at least take a look at these facts about laws in popular spring break locations as well as knowing what to do if you’re found in one of these situations.

Florida is the first state we’re taking a look at considering it’s a very popular spring break destination. In Florida one cannot knowingly posses a forged, stolen, or counterfeit driver’s license/ID card. If the fake id card is obviously a fake (also, many people will leave their real, underage ID in the wallet but just in a different spot… don’t do that), the possessor is automatically up for a 3rd degree felony with the maximum fine being $10,000 and a maximum time of 15 years. The situation can determine whether or not you receive the charge for a felony or if they drop it to a misdemeanor. Cops will definitely understand the urge to drink and especially during Spring Break week, will most likely not be inclined to throw the book at you. Bear in mind that your attitude towards them, both in words and compliance, will always make a great difference. Do not ever attempt to lie and try to pass the fake off as real, the police will find out regardless.

Alabama beaches, especially Gulf Shores, are also hot vacation spots for many students over spring break. In the state of Alabama, using a legal ID which belongs to another person, OR using a fake and/or altered form of identification can be charged as a class B felony. The sentences will again vary based on the situation, but the charges for this felony will be a maximum fine of $1,000 and a maximum time of 6 months. This is drastically different from the maximum penalties from the state of Florida, but we’re confident neither state will ever charge a student for those maximum penalties just for an act of drinking underage.

The next major state we’re looking at is Texas, with South Padre and Port Aransas being two of the most popular destinations for spring break. Texas carries different penalties for the type of fake ID that is found. If it’s a real ID which belongs to someone else, it will be considered a Class C misdemeanor and have a maximum fine of $500. Having an actual texas fake ID is treated as a little more serious, coming in with a Class A misdemeanor and a maximum fine of $2,000 and/or up to 180 days in jail.

Las Vegas, NV is another high traffic spring break location. Boasting gambling, strip clubs, amazing entertainment, and your pick of classy or trashy — its a widely popular spot for college kids with a bit of money to blow. If a person in the state of Nevada is in possession of a fake drivers license, or some other form of identification, to make themselves appear older in order to purchase or consume alcohol, tobacco products, marijuana, or participate in gambling, then they will be charged with a misdemeanor. The maximum sentence that can be given with the charge could be up to six months in jail and fines up to, but not exceeding, $1,000. Be careful not to let someone use your real, over 21 ID, for any situation in Vegas. That could land you a “gross” misdemeanor, which is more serious and punishable by a maximum sentence of one year in jail and fines up to, but not exceeding $2,000.

New Orleans, LA. The best for last? Many students forget heading to the beach and instead aim for one of the United State’s biggest and most well known party city. Classically known as NOLA, everything convalesces into a great time: a fantastic music scene, outstanding cajun food, and great bars carrying perhaps the most important ingredient; cheap alcohol. Louisiana has perhaps the most lax consequences of all the states on our list. The penalties for using fake identification in order to obtain or purchase alcohol could be: up to a $200 fine, a maximum of 36 hours of community service, and a possibility of a 90-day license suspension.

66.1% of students sampled for a study reported either owning a fake ID themselves, or having at least used one in the past. Everyone knows teens are prone to experiment with alcohol, considering it’s illegal for underage people, and teens hate being told no. The most important thing to take away from this list? Cops were young once too. Every one of these penalties listed are the maximum that a state could possibly give you, but a majority of minors caught with fake IDs are not punished nearly as harsh. Be careful to treat the cops with respect, and do not lie to them! They might help you out and understand your situation if you are not rowdy or belligerently angry with them. If you feel you’re responsible enough to buy and possess a fake ID to drink alcohol with, have the decency to be responsible if caught — especially because it will make things easier for you. Again, make sure you know the consequences of your destination if it’s anywhere besides these few states, and always be as responsible as someone who is actually overage should be.


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Jenna Busch

Jenna Busch is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Legion of Leia and has hosted and written for sites like Nerdist, ComingSoon.net, Metro, Birth. Movies. Death., IGN, AOL, Huffington Post and more. She co-hosted Cocktails With Stan with the legendary Stan Lee and has appeared on Attack of the Show, Fresh Ink, Tabletop with Wil Wheaton, in the documentary She Makes Comics, on NPR and Al Jazeera America, and has covered film/TV/gaming/comics for years. She's currently a co-host on Most Craved. She's been published in the comics anthology Womanthology, is a chapter author for Star Wars Psychology: Dark Side of the Mind, Game of Thrones Psychology and Star Trek Psychology and more, and owns a terrifying amount of swords and 20-sided dice. There are also those My Little Pony trailer voice overs that give one nightmares.

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