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Perhaps one of the most frustrating things about graduating from high school or going off to college is that others expect you to act like an adult, but you still have to live within the restrictions of being a minor. Most notably, you cannot drink alcohol if you are still underage. This may be an unfortunate drawback to your social life.

As summer approaches, you may be thinking about the fun you could be having with your friends if only you were the legal drinking age in North Carolina, which is 21. If you are considering getting a fake ID, you should first think about some serious consequences. A fake ID may open doors for you, but they may not be the kind of doors you were hoping for.

It's not worth the risk

You may already have had older friends who know someone who can get you a fake ID. This could mean using someone else's ID, altering your own, or purchasing a fake ID online or elsewhere. Aside from the logistics of obtaining a fake ID and the risk that someone will steal your own identity in the process, you should know that getting caught with a fake ID, even if you aren't using it at the time, can lead to serious legal complications for any of the following:

  • Using it to get into a venue where alcohol is on sale
  • Having it in your possession if police stop your car under suspicion that you are driving while impaired
  • Using it to purchase alcohol
  • Having it in your possession if police search you, such as after breaking up a party
  • Possessing or using someone else's ID, which may constitute identity theft

You may get lucky and find your way into a club or venue, but if a liquor store clerk or bartender catches on, he or she will likely call the police, in which case you will face misdemeanor charges. This could mean a fine or even time in jail if a court convicts you. Additionally, in North Carolina and several other states, getting caught with a fake ID means the suspension of your driver's license for one year.

If you are over age 18, a conviction will remain on your permanent record, and this could seriously complicate any career plans you may have. The smart thing to do is to wait patiently for the time when you can legally purchase and consume alcohol. However, if you are already facing charges for having or using a fake ID, you would be wise to reach out for sound legal advice.

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Hale Law Firm, PC
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