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College traditions are great. They make campus life richer and more exciting, but when these traditions include illegally using a fake ID to purchase alcohol, it can land you in serious trouble. Having a fake ID may not seem like a big deal to many college students, but in reality it is a type of fraud and a criminal act under Ohio law.

When you go out to a bar using a fake ID or try to purchase alcohol using false identification, you are misrepresenting your identity, which is considered a serious type of fraud. Even if you simply are found carrying the fake ID, it is a crime, whether the police have evidence that you tried to use it or not, you are violating Ohio statute. If you don’t get the help of a skilled Ohio criminal defense attorney, your arrest could seriously derail your college experience.

If you are a student attending any one of the numerous colleges or universities in Hamilton County or the Greater Cincinnati Area, call attorney Brad Groene today.

Penalties for Having or Using a Fake ID in Ohio

If you are caught with a fake ID, you are in more trouble than you may realize. Possession or manufacture of a fake ID or even simply using or altering another student’s old ID is a first-degree misdemeanor in violation of O.R.C. 4510.33. The punishment for this violation can include:

  • A fine of up to $1,000
  • Up to six months in jail, and
  • A suspension of your driver’s license.

Not only can you face criminal charges, but you could also find yourself facing school sanctions or even expulsion if you are convicted. Even if your university does not punish you for a false identification conviction, your career prospects may be affected. A criminal conviction can lead to a loss of scholarships or grants while in college, and it can even make finding a job after graduation significantly more challenging.

Fraud Charges Related to Having a Fake ID

Theses aren’t the only penalties you could face, though. Many students don’t have an actual “fake” fake ID. Often students’ real driver’s licenses are passed down to similar-looking underage siblings or friends once they reach 21. This may seem like a “safer” option for many students, but in reality, it is a more serious crime.

If you are using the genuine ID of another person, you are considered to be committing identity fraud. Under Ohio identity fraud law, using a person’s “personal identifying information” to pretend to be them without their consent in order to commit some act is illegal. This includes as any information that can be used to identify someone, such as a person’s name, telephone number, address, driver’s license, credit card number, or even personal passwords. If you are using an older student’s real ID to purchase alcohol or get into a club or bar, you have committed a fraud as them.

Identity fraud carries more serious penalties, as it is a felony in Ohio. Even if the person whose ID you are caught using suffers no harm due to your actions, you can face up to a year in prison and up to $2,500 in fines. This does not even take into consideration the much worse collateral consequences of being convicted of a felony.

Facing Criminal Fraud Charges? Call an Experienced Cincinnati Fraud Lawyer Today.

If you are caught with a fake ID, you probably feel scared and don’t know what to do. Being arrested, especially when you are young, is intimidating and confusing. It can be much easier, however, when you have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. At Luftman, Heck, and Associates, we have the experience and skills to fight the charges and work within the system to find the best option and keep your future secure. Call our Cincinnati fraud lawyers today at or email us at advice@cincinnaticriminalattorney.com for a free consultation on your case to find out how we may be able to help.