The legal drinking age in the United States is 21. Because it is so high and so many people have friends who are older, procuring a fake id has become a popular way of allowing a minor entry to the same places his or her friends go. While it’s generally not done out of maliciousness or any attempt to commit a real crime, using a fake id, and even creating them, falls under the field of identity document forgery.
Identity document forgery is the process by which identity documents which are issued by a governing body such as a state or country are copied and or modified by an unauthorized individual. Commonly forged items include driver’s licenses, birth certificates, social security cards, and passports. Driver’s licenses have historically been forged or altered to conceal the fact that the holder isn’t old enough to buy alcohol or some other controlled substance. Social security cards are forged for identity theft schemes or to defraud the government. Passports are forged to evade restrictions place on entry into a particular country. For example, Americans are not allowed entry into Cuba but individuals carrying passports from other places may be allowed entry. An individual that really wants to go to Cuba might forge a passport from another place.
Fake identification cards are frequently used for identity theft, age deception, illegal immigration, and organized crime.
Many people think that a fake id is well worth the risk of getting caught. The sites that sell fake ids talk about how real they look and frequently will provide some sort of guarantee regarding not getting caught. While this is all great, many people do get caught. In many instances, getting caught with a fake id results in more than a slap on the wrist.
Getting caught with a fake id frequently results in being charged with a misdemeanor. The penalties include jail time, fines, community service, and suspension of the person’s real driver’s license. Having the fake id is just one offense. Just by possessing the ID, the person opens him or herself to a variety of other crimes. These crimes include possession of alcohol by a minor and providing alcohol to minors. While they are “only” misdemeanors, they still go on a person’s criminal record
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