Legal Info

Fake IDs

What to ask a lawyer

Some high schoolers just can’t wait to grow up and assume all the freedoms that come with older age. Those with friends in college might have a special interest in acquiring a fake ID to help get them into bars or clubs with age restrictions. You might not think there’s much harm in using a fake ID, especially if you don’t intend to drink and just want to use it to hang out with friends. Unfortunately, Tennessee law views the matter quite seriously.

The law in Tennessee says that it is illegal for anyone 21 or younger to knowingly make a false statement or present false identification to any person engaged in the sale of alcoholic beverages. This means no flashing a fake ID to a bouncer or bartender.

The law lays out pretty harsh punishments to underage individuals caught using a fake ID. In most cases, a misdemeanor citation is given instead of actually arresting the person, but a citation has the same legal significance of being physically arrested. To the surprise of many, a charge of false identification is a Class A misdemeanor and carries a possible sentence of up to 11 months and 29 days behind bars.

Pretty scary stuff, right? Well, don’t lose too much sleep because the truth is it would be very unusual for a judge to hand down such a harsh punishment to an underage offender who was only trying to sneak into a bar. Instead, probation is most likely and jail time is rarely if ever considered.

Though using a fake ID doesn’t necessarily mean you’re headed to the big house, it’s also no laughing matter. Tennessee law clearly states that anyone found to be using a fake ID will have their real driver’s license automatically suspended for one year. Underage individuals caught with fake IDs also face community service and fines of between $50 and$200.

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