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Fake IDs Bring Harsh Penalties and Identity Theft Risk

Posted on in Criminal Law

Illinois fake IDs, Wheaton criminal defense lawyerA new effort is underway to curb use of fake IDs in Illinois. A letter released by Secretary of State Jesse White outlining his office's public awareness campaign has recently been published. While there are no recent changes to the existing law, Secretary White hopes that by emphasizing the risks and consequences of using a fake ID, Illinois will see a reduction in underage drinking and safer citizens.

In the last two years, over 1,200 people have been caught using fake driver’s licenses or identification cards. Their goal may be as simple as getting into bars, said Secretary White, but using or just possessing a fake ID is a serious offense that carries significant penalties. A conviction will result in a one-year suspension of driving privileges, up to three years in prison or 50 hours of community service, and a maximum $25,000 fine. In addition, the individual may face charges related to fraud and identity theft, which could potentially remain on the person’s record indefinitely.

The Office of the Secretary of State also reminds Illinois residents that by seeking to obtain a fake ID, individuals place themselves in danger of falling victim to identity theft as well. Secretary White noted that the internet has made getting a fake ID easier than ever, but can easily result in identifying information ending up in the hands of rather unethical people. The price a person pays for a fake ID can go extend far beyond the nominal fee if the supplier, who is already participating in one illegal activity, then uses the personal information in ways regularly associated with identity theft.

Illinois driver’s licenses and identification cards have incorporated more than a dozen security features making them difficult to falsify. Secretary of State Police representatives provide training for bars, banks, and law enforcement agencies on how to utilize the security features to easily identify a fake ID. In addition, the Safe ID Task Force was set up in 2009 to protect the integrity of the state's identification cards and driver’s licenses. Under the supervision of the Inspector General for the Secretary of State, the task force cooperates with local, state and federal agencies, including the FBI and Department of Homeland Security, to fight and prevent counterfeiting of ID cards and the use of fake IDs.

If you or your child has been charged with underage drinking or using a fake ID, we can help. Contact an experienced Wheaton criminal defense attorney today and we will make sure your rights under law are protected every step of the way.
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