Washington Fake Id Charges2023-06-27 2023-06-27 15:16
Washington Fake Id Charges
Washington Fake Id Charges
Washington Fake ID Charges: Consequences, Penalties, and Legal Defenses
Washington State has strict laws on producing, possessing, and using fake identification cards. Many underage students and young adults use fake IDs to access bars and nightclubs, purchase alcohol, cigarettes, or enter restricted areas like casinos and airports. However, using a fake ID can lead to serious legal consequences, including fines, jail time, and criminal records.
In this article, we’ll explore the types of fake ID charges in Washington, the potential penalties and defenses against them, and how to avoid getting caught or charged for using a fake ID.
Types of Washington Fake ID Charges
Washington law prohibits several types of fake ID charges, depending on the nature and intent of the offense.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these categories:
1. Possession of a Fake ID
Possession of a fake ID is the most common type of fake ID charge in Washington. It occurs when a person has in their possession an ID card that bears false information or was altered to change the person’s identity or age. Possessing a fake ID is a gross misdemeanor, punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.
2. Use of a Fake ID
Using a fake ID means that a person has presented a false identification card to obtain goods or services, such as alcohol, tobacco, or entry into a restricted area. Using a fake ID is also a gross misdemeanor, punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.
3. Manufacturing or Distributing of Fake IDs
Manufacturing or distributing fake IDs is a felony offense in Washington. It involves making any ID card that looks like a genuine identification card or selling, giving, or distributing such a card to other people. Depending on the intent and scope of the offense, a fake ID manufacturer or distributor could face Class C, Class B, or Class A felony charges, carrying prison sentences ranging from five to twenty years and fines ranging from $10,000 to $50,000.
4. Possession of Forged License Plates
Fake license plates are another form of ID forgery that can lead to criminal charges. Possession of forged license plates is a Class C felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. A person can receive this charge even if they didn’t produce the fake plates but knowingly possessed them with the intent to use them to deceive or defraud others.
5. Tampering with Public Records
Finally, tampering with public records, including ID cards and certificates, is a serious crime in Washington. Tampering with records involves altering, falsifying, or destroying public records, such as driver’s licenses, birth certificates, or passports, with the intent to deceive or defraud others. Tampering with public records is a Class C felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Penalties for Washington Fake ID Charges
The penalties for fake ID charges in Washington vary depending on the severity of the offense, the criminal history of the defendant, and other factors.
Here’s a breakdown of the most common penalties for Washington fake ID charges:
Possession of a Fake ID
A first-time possession of a fake ID charge in Washington can result in up to 364 days in jail, a fine of up to $5,000, and probation. Repeat offenders may face longer jail sentences, higher fines, and more extensive probation.
Use of a Fake ID
The penalties for using a fake ID in Washington are similar to those for possessing a fake ID. First-time offenders may receive up to 364 days in jail, a fine of up to $5,000, and probation. Repeat offenders may face more severe charges and penalties.
Manufacturing or Distributing Fake IDs
Manufacturing or distributing fake IDs can lead to felony charges, ranging from Class C to Class A, depending on the scope of the offense and the number of fake IDs involved. Class C felony charges can result in up to five years in jail and a $10,000 fine. Class B felony charges can lead to up to ten years in prison and a $20,000 fine. Class A felony charges can result in up to twenty years in prison and a $50,000 fine.
Possession of Forged License Plates
A person charged with possession of forged license plates in Washington can face Class C felony charges, which carry up to five years in prison and $10,000 fine.
Tampering with Public Records
Tampering with public records in Washington is a Class C felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Legal Defenses against Washington Fake ID Charges
If you’ve been charged with a Washington fake ID offense, you may have the opportunity to defend yourself in court or negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor. Here are some potential defenses you can raise against Washington fake ID charges:
1. Lack of Knowledge or Intent
One possible defense against fake ID charges is to argue that you had no knowledge or intent to use or possess a fake ID. For example, you might argue that someone else gave you a fake ID without telling you it was fake, or that you didn’t know the ID was fake when you used it.
2. Lawful Purpose
Another defense against fake ID charges is to show that you possessed or used a fake ID for a lawful purpose and not to deceive or defraud others. For example, you could argue that you used a fake ID to enter a nightclub but didn’t consume any alcohol or cause any harm to others.
3. Police Misconduct
You can also challenge fake ID charges if the police violated your rights during a search or arrest. For example, you might argue that the police obtained the fake ID evidence through an illegal search or seizure, or that they coerced you into admitting a crime.
4. Plea Bargain
Finally, you may be able to negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor to reduce or dismiss the charges if you agree to plead guilty to a lesser offense or cooperate with the authorities.
Tips to Avoid Washington Fake ID Charges
The best way to avoid fake ID charges in Washington is to follow the law and avoid using or possessing fake IDs. However, if you find yourself in a situation where you need to prove your age or identity, here are some tips to protect yourself from legal trouble:
1. Use Legal Forms of Identification
One of the easiest ways to avoid fake ID charges is to use legal IDs that prove your age and identity. In Washington, these include a driver’s license, a state ID card, a passport, or a military ID.
2. Don’t Lie About Your Age
If you don’t have a legal ID or are not old enough to purchase alcohol or tobacco, don’t lie about your age to obtain them. Lying about your age is a crime in itself and can lead to fake ID charges if you use a fake ID to back up your lie.
3. Avoid Suspicious Activities
To avoid drawing unnecessary attention from the police or bouncers, don’t engage in suspicious activities, such as loitering outside bars or clubs, dressing inappropriately, or acting intoxicated.
4. Be Polite and Cooperative
If a police officer or security guard questions your ID or refuses to let you enter a restricted area, be polite and cooperative. Don’t argue, flee, or resist their commands, as this can escalate the situation and lead to criminal charges.
Using a fake ID in Washington can be tempting, but it’s not worth the risk of getting caught and facing legal consequences. Possession, use, manufacturing, or distribution of fake IDs can lead to gross misdemeanor or felony charges, punishable by jail time, fines, and criminal records. If you’ve been charged with a fake ID offense, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you build a solid defense and protect your rights.