What You Need to Know About Fake ID Laws in Nevada
The use of false identification, or a fake ID, is commonly associated with young individuals, including those who want to appear old enough to purchase and consume alcohol, buy cigarettes or tobacco products, gamble, or engage in other activities that have an age requirement set by state or federal law. Given Nevada’s recent legalization of cannabis for adults 21 years of age or older, fake IDs may also be used by young individuals and minors to purchase and use marijuana.
While young people can and certainly do use fake IDs for these reasons, it is not the only way they can be used. In fact, fake IDs can be used for a number of fraudulent purposes, including the use of false identification to obtain government benefits, including benefits for legal immigrants, and using fraudulent identification to access and steal another’s money. Although they may be used for different purposes, the means of using a fake ID is explicitly illegal in the state of Nevada.
Per Nevada law, it is illegal for a person to sell, transfer, or possess any form of identifying information or documentation for fraudulent purposes, including:
- Establishing a false status (i.e. being of age)
- Establishing a false occupation, license, or membership
- Identifying him or herself as another person
Possession & Sale of Fake ID Penalties
In short, it is a crime to sell or possess any form of personal ID for the purpose of passing off as someone you are not, and individuals who have been charged with this crime can face serious penalties. However, the law stipulates different penalties based on how the fake ID was being used. For example, in the case of possessing a fake ID, the following applies:
- Possession of a fake ID for the purpose of appearing “of age” to purchase alcohol, tobacco products, or gamble is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines.
- Possession of fake ID for the purpose of fraud – including online fraud, credit card fraud, and forgery – is a category C felony punishable by 1 to 10 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
- Possession of a fake ID to establish a fake identity (aside from fraud) is a category E felony punishable by 1 to 4 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.
When it comes to the sale or transfer of a fake ID, individuals may face the following penalties:
- Selling or providing a fake ID for the purpose of appearing “of age” to purchase alcohol, tobacco products, or gamble, is a gross misdemeanor, with penalties up to 364 days in jail and up to $2,000 in fines.
- Selling or transferring a fake ID of a vulnerable person, 5 or more persons, or a person 60 years of age or older is a category B felony. Causing financial losses or damages of $3,000 or more as a result of selling or transferring a fake ID is also a category B felony. Penalties can include between 1 to 10 years in Prison, and up to $10,000 in fines.
While the penalties for possessing and selling a fake ID are steep, prosecutors and courts often have discretion when charging defendants and seeking penalties, which means there is often potential for leniency in sentencing, especially when fake ID crimes involve juveniles or young adults who use fake IDs solely for the purpose of appearing of age. That’s because courts typically view this charge as being less serious than possessing a fake ID for fraudulent purposes. Still the penalties and consequences of a conviction can change the futures of young defendants.
Whatever the charges may be, securing experienced defense is critical to avoiding considerable charges and penalties. If you, your child, or someone you love has been accused of using, selling, or transferring a fake ID in Nevada, our Reno criminal defense lawyers at Joey Gilbert Law are available to help you better understand the allegations and penalties you face, as well as your options for defense and negotiation with prosecutors. With decades of combined experience, our legal team has the tools and resources to protect your rights at every phase of the criminal process, and to fight aggressively for the best possible resolution.
To discuss a potential case, contact us for a FREE consultation.