Penalties for Creating, Using or Possessing a Fake ID in Iowa

The constant increase of minors with possession of fake IDs has become a large scale pandemic around America. An article published in the journal, Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental showed that in a study of approximately 1,000 U.S. college students, researchers found that around two-thirds of the study’s participant had at one point of another in college used fake IDs to purchase alcohol. Moreover the study revealed that on average, student use fake IDs about 25 percent of the time they consumed alcoholic beverages before turning the legal age of 21.

In 2011 The Iowa Department of Transportation released a news report about the serious consequences that come with making, distributing or using a fake ID. In concert with that they began a large scale crackdown on possession of fake IDs and their result to date show just that.

Following the release of the Iowa Dot news report they announced that they had a successful bust in Cedar Falls, Iowa which ultimately led to the arrest of serval individuals and the confiscation of more than 24 fake IDs. Their efforts have also resulted in the seizure of more than 1,700 fake IDs in the Chicago area, a majority of which were in route to Iowa universities. Despite such a concerted effort many IDs get though making their way onto college campuses and can result in grave consequences for students if caught.

The possible varying charges that could land one in jail and/or potentially result in the suspension of ones license are as follows:

1)     Falsifying public documents (Iowa Code §718.5) – This is when an individual without the authority to do so, creates or modifies any public document, or who possesses a seal or any counterfeit seal of the state or of any of its subdivisions, or of any officer, employee, or agency of the state or of any of its subdivisions. If convicted for this offense one is classified of having committed a class “D” felony. The penalty for such a crime is punishable with a minimum of 30 days and up to five years in prison, a suspension of driving privileges for up to six months, and a fine of at least $750 but not more than $7,500.

2)     Falsifying driver’s licenses, identification cards or forms (Iowa Code §321.261A) – One can be convicted of this for simply possessing an ID made by someone who does not have authority to make one. This crime is classified as a serious misdemeanor and carries a maximum penalty of up to one year in jail, and a fine up to $1,875. On top of this it can result suspension of a driver’s license for up to six months.

3)     Use of a driver’s license or identification card by underage person to obtain alcohol (Iowa Code §321.216B) – This crime like the previous crime is also a misdemeanor which is punishable by a fine of $200 and a six-month driver’s license suspension.

4)     Use of a driver’s license or identification card by underage person to obtain cigarettes or tobacco products (Iowa Code §321.216C) – A person who violates this is committing a misdemeanor which is punishable by a fine of $200 and a six-month driver’s license suspension.

5)     Unlawful use of license or identification card (Iowa Code §321.216) – This crime is when one has a fictitious or fraudulently altered driver’s license or ID in their possession. It is a misdemeanor punishable by a scheduled fine of $100 and 30-day driver’s license suspension.

As you can see, possession of a fake ID is a serious crime in Iowa. That is why, a person charged with using or possessing a form of  false identification needs an experienced and knowledgeable attorney to provide guidance and assistance to get the best outcome. So, if you or your loved one is charged with possession of a fake ID in Iowa, do not hesitate to call us at Stowers and Sarcone Law Firm at 515.224.7446. Our attorneys provide dedicated and experienced representation with cases in this area amongst numerous other areas.