Criminal defense attorney immediately soon to ensure your rights are protected and you are not unfairly penalized. The consequences of a crime may be significant even if the act itself is little.
It might be difficult to get employment, housing, or financial aid if you have a criminal history. In California, having a competent criminal defense attorney on your side may assist you in ensuring that your rights are not impeded and that you are not unfairly penalized.
Fake IDs Used in Online Class Enrollment
In recent news, two journalism professors at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton became suspicious when they saw a big jump in enrollment in their online classes at the beginning of August. Was this because of how the college tried to get people to apply or was it something else?
Then they noticed other strange patterns, like students taking classes that didn’t make sense for their planned major and students who enrolled on the same day with ID numbers that were almost in order instead of random registration dates. Last week, Brogger and her coworker Tara Cuslidge-Staiano told the college’s Academic Senate. They spent hours looking into suspicious students over the weekend and found that most didn’t have phone numbers or numbers with out-of-state area codes. Brogger said, “I had a very strong gut feeling that students and taxpayers were being ripped off.”
In California, what is considered a “fake ID”?
According to the law, a fake ID is any ID card that is typically given out by a government agency but has been:
Basically, a government-issued ID could be considered fake if you change it or cause it to be altered in any way.
Government ID cards that are commonly faked are:
- California or other state driver’s license
- United States passport
- Social Security card
- Military ID
- State or federal employee ID card
What does “possession of a fake ID” mean?
You must not only have a fake ID but also show it or have it on you. It’s easy to show someone your fake ID by handing it to them or letting them see it while you’re holding it.
But just because you own something doesn’t mean you have to be holding it.
Possession can be either real/actual, or constructive. If you actually have something, it is on your body or clothes. When you have constructive possession of something, it is in a place over which you have control. If a fake ID is found in your car, house, or wallet, the police may be able to show that you had enough control over those places for it to be considered your California fake id.
You have the Intent to commit a forgery.
You can’t just have a fake ID; you must also plan to use it to commit a forgery. Here, forgery means:
- Trying to deceive someone else with the fake ID.
- Causing a legal, financial, or property right to be lost or damaged.
The crime outlined in California Penal Code 470bPC occurs when you possess a fake ID and use it to deceive another person.
Forgery could be done with a fake ID in the following ways:
- Changing the date of birth on your California driver’s license to make a bartender or liquor store clerk think you are over 21.
- Putting your picture on a military ID to get a discount at a restaurant or store.
California’s Penalties for Possession of a Fake ID
In California, having a fake ID may get you charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances. The nature of the conduct, the accused’s criminal history, and other factors will determine the degree of the charges.
- Possession of a forged ID is a misdemeanor that carries penalties of up to a year in prison, summary probation, community service, and/or a $1,000 fine.
- Possession of a forged ID is a Class C felony punishable by up to three years in state jail, formal probation, community service, and/or a $10,000 fine.
How to get out of a California fake ID charge
The prosecution will have to show that all the facts about the crime are true. Given the needed evidence, including proof that you intended to make a fake, this can be hard to do. A skilled criminal defense attorney can put together a strong defense that makes it harder for the prosecution to prove their case.
Some common defenses for having a fake ID in California are:
- Lack of knowledge – To be guilty of this crime, you must know that the ID you have is fake.
- Lack of intent – You have to plan to use the fake ID to make a real one.
- Lack of possession – You must have the fake ID with you. If you are being charged based on “constructive possession,” a lawyer can fight to disprove the prosecution’s case.
The defense for possession of a fake ID
You will only be found guilty if it can be shown that you knew the ID was fake, changed, copied, etc. To be found guilty, it must also be shown that you knew you had a fake ID and planned to use it to commit a forgery, such as to trick someone or cause a loss or damage to a legal, financial, or property right. You could also say that the fake ID didn’t belong to you or that you didn’t have the right to use it.
The defense for creating a fake ID
You may not be breaking any laws if you are only printing IDs for “novelty purposes,” like a hobby or a joke, if what you were doing could not take away anyone else’s legal rights, or if you are being wrongly accused of selling fake IDs. Even if you are arrested and charged with having or making a fake id, that doesn’t mean you are guilty and/or have to go to jail. If you are caught with a fake ID or accused of making one, make sure you have the correct legal help so you and your family don’t have to suffer for no reason.