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Colorado Criminal Law – The Fraudulent Use Of Fake Or Phony ID’s By Underage Kids – What’s The Law?

By H. Michael Steinberg – Colorado Juvenile Crimes Criminal Defense Lawyer

Colorado Criminal Law – The Fraudulent Use Of Phony Fake Or ID’s By Underage Kids – What’s The Law?- The widespread use of phony ID’s across Colorado will come as no surprise to anyone reading this article. What may come as a surprise is how much trouble a young person can get it and the potential negative impact on that person’s future may result from the use of the phony ID.

Colorado Criminal Law - The Fraudulent Use Of Fake Or Phony ID’s By Underage Kids - What’s The Law


Colorado Criminal Law – The Fraudulent Use Of Fake Or Phony ID’s By Underage Kids – What’s The Law

The ease of obtaining phony ID’s has tracked the massive knowhow at every level of fraud. While fake ID’s can be of excellent quality – a little checking – no matter what the quality – and you will be discovered.

Are Fake IDs Illegal?

In a word – yes. The mere possession of a fake ID in Colorado is illegal. It is – forgive the phrase “even more illegal” to alter, manufacture, or sell any form of fraudulent identification. (Below – compare manufacturing the fake ID from using it – the crimes are different) But the law is complex and the discretion of the district attorneys and the police (for non-felony cases) as to what and how to charge these cases reflects that complexity.

Falsely Identifying Yourself For ANY Reason Can Be Disastrous

Using a phony ID may seem like a rite of passage today – but today – as in many areas of our lives – the results can have unforseen long term impacts on your education, your employment opportunities and your quality of life. Many of the kinds of charges that can be filed in false – phony ID cases are felonies – many of them (see below) are Class 4 or 5 felonies with penalties of several years in prison.

What Are the Different False Identification Offenses?

Understanding the different crimes surrounding the use, possession and manufacture of fake ID’s is complicated. So we start with how the nature of the ID itself fits the crime. Here are some questions in that regard:

    • Was this a fraudulent use of another’s valid driver’s license?
    • Was this a situation where the person charged manufactured, sold, or personally altered the fake ID?
    • Was this a simple – but fraudulent – use of a fake driver’s license or DMV ID card to obtain alcoholic beverages? Or
    • Was the use of the fake ID in this case a form of Identity Theft – that is – was the phony ID used for something much more serious – such as obtaining government benefits – a credit card or a loan?

The Categories of Fake – False – Illegal IDs

Assuming that the reader is primarily researching the use of the fake ID to obtain or use alcohilic beverages or to “get into” a 21 year old club, the next appropriate question is just how do young people obtain false – phony id’s – and how does this impact the charges? It IS important to start with just HOW you obtained and or used the fake ID.

One of the most common sources of fake ID’s is the “borrowed ID” obtained from an older sib or good friend who takes the chance of loaning the ID to the younger person. Another is the rite of passage in college where students who no longer need their ID – “leave them” to others in the organization – such as a fraternity or sorority to which they belong.

However actually purchasing the fake ID on the internet is becoming seems to be the primary source of fake ID’s today. The level of sophistication of these websites is truly amazing. Sites provide instructions on how to manufacture their own illegal ID, they provide “templates” for government IDs which are altered easily, and with a click of your mouse – the ID is ordered online.

When YOU Alter An ID – It Can Be A More Serious Crime – Altering ID’s

There are always very creative people who can produce and even market fake IDs – selling them friends and acquaintances. The demand is great and the temptation equally great to expand the business through referrals. Altering an ID means making actual physical changes to a real ID such as changing the birth date or photo using fingernail polish or super glue which is placed directly over the numbers and later changed. While this is becoming more difficult with the high tech nature of ID’s – it still occurs throughout the state of Colorado and the country.

After 9/11 – we have become consumed with security. The spread of fraudulent identification documents in our federal, state, and local governments has made identify theft crimes much more serious crimes.

The simple use of a phony ID to purchase alcohol is one thing – but phony fake ID’s are used these days to commit much more serious crimes which include:

• Check fraud

• Bank fraud

• Social security fraud

• Immigration fraud

• Credit card fraud

• Loan Fraud

… and several other crimes.

The Many Ways You Can Be Charged In Colorado For Creating And Or Using A Phony ID Will Surprise You

Charged Under The Municipal Code Of The City You Are Caught In – “Muni Charges”

Use of a fake ID card in most Colorado Municipalities is only a “muni offense” with fines of up to $1000 and/or one year in jail. The State of Colorado also provides for the possession of fake identification as a felony with fines up to $1000, and one year in jail if convicted.

A Closer Look At The Possible Charges Surrounding Fake – Or Phony IDs

The mere possession and or use of a phony fake ID can mean being charged with: (to look up these crime – follow this link) https://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/colorado/

42-2-136. Unlawful Possession or Use of License – a Class 2 Traffic Offense or Class 3 Misdemeanor

(1)(a) No person shall have in such person’s possession a lawfully issued driver’s, minor driver’s, or temporary driver’s license or instruction permit, knowing that such license or permit has been falsely altered by means of erasure, obliteration, deletion, insertion of new matter, transposition of matter, or any other means so that such license or permit in its thus altered form falsely appears or purports to be in all respects an authentic and lawfully issued license or permit. (b) No person shall fraudulently obtain a driver’s, minor driver’s, or temporary driver’s license or an instruction permit.

(2) No person shall have in such person’s possession a paper, document, or other instrument which falsely appears or purports to be in all respects a lawfully issued and authentic driver’s, minor driver’s, or temporary driver’s license or instruction permit, knowing that such instrument was falsely made and was not lawfully issued.

(3) No person shall display or represent as being such person’s own any driver’s, minor driver’s, or temporary driver’s license or any instruction permit which was lawfully issued to another person.

(4) No person shall fail or refuse to surrender to the department upon its lawful demand any driver’s, minor driver’s, or temporary driver’s license or any instruction or temporary permit issued to such person which has been suspended, revoked, or cancelled by the department. The department shall notify the district attorney’s office in the county where such violation occurred, in writing, of all violations of this subsection (4).

(5) No person shall permit any unlawful use of a driver’s license issued to such person.

(5.5) No person shall photograph, photostat, duplicate, or in any way reproduce any driver’s license or facsimile thereof for the purpose of distribution, resale, reuse, or manipulation of the data or images contained in such driver’s license unless authorized by the department or otherwise authorized by law.

(6) (a) Any person who violates any provision of subsections (1) to (5) of this section commits a class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense.

(b) Any person who violates any provision of subsection (5.5) of this section commits a class 3 misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished as provided in section 18-1.3-501 , C.R.S.

42-2-309. Unlawful Acts – A Class 3 Misdemeanor

(1) It is unlawful for any person:

(a) To display, cause or permit to be displayed, or have in that person’s possession any surrendered, fictitious, fraudulently altered, or fraudulently obtained identification card;

(b) To lend that person’s identification card to any other person or knowingly permit the use thereof by another;

(c) To display or represent any identification card not issued to that person as being that person’s card;

(d) To permit any unlawful use of an identification card issued to that person;

(e) To do any act forbidden or fail to perform any act required by this part 3, which would not include use of such card after the expiration date;

(f) To photograph, photostat, duplicate, or in any way reproduce any identification card or facsimile thereof in such a manner that it could be mistaken for a valid license, or to display or have in that person’s possession any such photograph, photostat, duplicate, reproduction, or facsimile unless authorized by law;

(g) To photograph, photostat, duplicate, or in any way produce any identification card as defined in section 42-2-301(2) , or facsimile thereof, unless authorized by law, in such a manner that it could be mistaken for a valid identification card or to display or possess any such photograph, photostat, duplicate, production, or facsimile;

(h) To photograph, photostat, duplicate, or in any way reproduce any identification card or facsimile thereof for the purpose of distribution, resale, reuse, or manipulation of the data or images contained in such identification card unless authorized by the department or otherwise authorized by law.

18-5-113 Criminal Impersonation – Class 6 Felony

(1) A person commits criminal impersonation if he or she knowingly:

(a) Assumes a false or fictitious identity or legal capacity, and in such identity or capacity he or she:

(I) Marries, or pretends to marry, or to sustain the marriage relation toward another without the connivance of the latter;

(II) Becomes bail or surety for a party in an action or proceeding, civil or criminal, before a court or officer authorized to take the bail or surety; or

(III) Confesses a judgment, or subscribes, verifies, publishes, acknowledges, or proves a written instrument which by law may be recorded, with the intent that the same may be delivered as true; or

(b) Assumes a false or fictitious identity or capacity, legal or other, and in such identity or capacity he or she:

(I) Performs an act that, if done by the person falsely impersonated, might subject such person to an action or special proceeding, civil or criminal, or to liability, charge, forfeiture, or penalty; or

(II) Performs any other act with intent to unlawfully gain a benefit for himself, herself, or another or to injure or defraud another.

(2) Criminal impersonation is a class 6 felony.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (1) of this section, using false or fictitious personal identifying information, as defined in section 18-5-901(13) , shall constitute the assumption of a false or fictitious identity or capacity.

18-5-902. Identity Theft – a Class 4 Felony

(HMS – Essentially in order to convict a defendant of identity theft under subsection (1)(a), the prosecution must prove that the defendant knew that the personal identifying information, financial identifying information, or financial device he or she used was, in fact, the information or device of another person.)

(1) A person commits identity theft if he or she:

(a) Knowingly uses the personal identifying information, financial identifying information, or financial device of another without permission or lawful authority  with the intent to obtain cash, credit, property, services, or any other thing of value or to make a financial payment;

(b) Knowingly possesses the personal identifying information, financial identifying information, or financial device of another without permission or lawful authority, with the intent to use or to aid or permit some other person to use such information or device to obtain cash, credit, property, services, or any other thing of value or to make a financial payment;

(c) With the intent to defraud, falsely makes, completes, alters, or utters a written instrument or financial device containing any personal identifying information or financial identifying information of another;

(d) Knowingly possesses the personal identifying information or financial identifying information of another without permission or lawful authority to use in applying for or completing an application for a financial device or other extension of credit;

(e) Knowingly uses or possesses the personal identifying information of another without permission or lawful authority with the intent to obtain a government-issued document;

(2) Identity theft is a class 4 felony.

(3) The court shall be required to sentence the defendant to the department of corrections for a term of at least the minimum of the presumptive range and may sentence the defendant

(a) The defendant is convicted of identity theft or of attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit identity theft; and

(b) The defendant has a prior conviction for a violation of this part 9 or a prior conviction for an offense committed in any other state, the United States, or any other territory subject to the jurisdiction of the United States that would constitute a violation of this part 9 if committed in this state, or for attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit a violation of this part 9 or for attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit an offense in another jurisdiction that would constitute a violation of this part 9 if committed in this state.

18-5-903 Criminal Possession of a Financial Transaction Device Class 1 Misdemeanor

Criminal possession of two or more financial devices is a class 6 felony. Criminal possession of four or more financial devices, of which at least two are issued to different account holders, is a class 5 felony.

18-5-903.5 Criminal Possession of an Identification Document – a Class 1 Misdemeanor.

Criminal possession of two or more identification documents, of which at least two are issued to different persons, is a class 6 felony.

18-5-904 Gathering Identity Information by Deception – a Class 5 Felony

(1) A person commits gathering identity information by deception if he or she knowingly makes or conveys a materially false statement, without permission or lawful authority, with the intent to obtain, record, or access the personal identifying information or financial identifying information of another.

(2) Gathering identity information by deception is a class 5 felony.

18-5-905 Possession of Identity Theft Tools – a Class 5 Felony

(1) A person commits possession of identity theft tools if he or she possesses any tools, equipment, computer, computer network, scanner, printer, or other article adapted, designed, or commonly used for committing or facilitating the commission of the offense of identity theft as described in section 18-5-902 , and intends to use the thing possessed, or knows that a person intends to use the thing possessed, in the commission of the offense of identity theft.

(2) Possession of identity theft tools is a class 5 felony.

18-5-102 Forgery – a Class 5 Felony

(1) A person commits forgery, if, with intent to defraud, such person falsely makes, completes, alters, or utters a written instrument which is or purports to be, or which is calculated to become or to represent if completed:

… (e) A written instrument officially issued or created by a public office, public servant, or government agency (HMS – A DRIVERS LICENSE OR ID)

18-5-105. Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument – a Class 6 Felony

(.. when, with knowledge that it is forged and with intent to use to defraud, such person possesses any forged instrument of a kind described in section 18-5-102.)

18-5-107. Criminal Possession of Second Degree Forged Instrument – a Class 2 Misdemeanor,

(..when, with knowledge that it is forged, and with intent to defraud, such person possesses any forged instrument of a kind covered by section 18-5-104.)

18-5-109. Criminal Possession of Forgery Devices – a Class 6 Felony

(A person commits criminal possession of forgery devices when:

… (d) Such person unlawfully makes, produces, possesses, or utters a document-making implement knowing that such document-making implement may be used or is used in the production of a false identification document or counterfeit mark or another implement for the production of false identification documents or counterfeit marks.)

The Enormous Difference Charges In Colorado Juvenile Court VS Adult Court – The Impact Of Turning 18

If a felony charge is contemplated in this complex area – the age of the defendant may be critical. If the person committing a felony is under 18 years old – the case will be heard in Colorado Juvenile Court (LINK). If 18 years or older – the defendant is charged in Colorado’s adult court.

Using Fake Identification In College- Possible Suspension From Your College

All Colleges and University’s have similar disciplinary codes. At the University of Denver in Colorado the punishment for getting caught using a phony ID is two quarters probation. The second time may result in up to a year of probation or even suspension. In a addition the school itself will press criminal charges.

Colorado Criminal Law – The Fraudulent Use Of Fake Or Phony ID’s By Underage Kids – What’s The Law? – Summary and Conclusion

The use of fake ID’s is on the rise.

Charging a felony such as criminal impersonation may fit the facts of using a phony ID – but such a charge is an abuse of a Colorado District Attorney’s discretion. When you see such a charge – it make sense to hire an excellent Colorado criminal defense lawyer to fight it in court. On the other hand – parents and young people charged in juvenile court or in “Muni Court” may successfully defend themselves without the need for a lawyer – especially if it is a first offense.

Finally, while it may seem like a good idea to get into the high demand “business” of creating and selling phony ID’s – such as business may mean unexpected consequences that can ruin the futures of very young lives.

Colorado Criminal Law – The Fraudulent Use Of Fake Or Phony ID’s By Underage Kids – What’s The Law?

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Never stop fighting – never stop believing in yourself and your right to due process of law.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR : H. Michael Steinberg – Email The Author at hmsteinberg@hotmail.com – A Denver Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer – or call his office at 303-627-7777 during business hours – or call his cell if you cannot wait and need his immediate assistance – 720-220-2277. Attorney H. Michael Steinberg is passionate about criminal defense. His extensive knowledge and experience of Colorado Criminal Law gives him the edge you need to properly handle your case.

A Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. If you are seeking counsel there maybe other more specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics. For that, please contact the author.

If you are charged with A Colorado crime or you have questions about the topic of this article –Colorado Criminal Law – The Fraudulent Use Of Fake Or Phony ID’s By Underage Kids – What’s The Law? , please call our office. The Law Offices of H. Michael Steinberg, in Denver, Colorado, provide criminal defense clients with effective, efficient, intelligent and strong legal advocacy. We can educate you and help you navigate the stressful and complex legal process related to your criminal defense issue.

Colorado Juvenile Criminal Defense LawyerH. Michael Steinberg, is a Denver, Colorado criminal defense lawyer with over 30 years of day to day courtroom experience – specializing in Colorado Criminal Law along the Front Range. He will provide you with a free initial case consultation to evaluate your legal issues and to answer your questions with an honest assessment of your options. Remember, it costs NOTHING to discuss your case. Call now for an immediate free phone consultation.


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Colorado Criminal Law - The Fraudulent Use Of Fake Or Phony ID’s By Underage Kids - What’s The Law?
Article Name
Colorado Criminal Law - The Fraudulent Use Of Fake Or Phony ID’s By Underage Kids - What’s The Law?
Description
The widespread use of phony ID’s across Colorado will come as no surprise to anyone reading this article. What may come as a surprise is how much trouble a young person can get it and the potential negative impact on that person’s future may result from the use of the phony ID.
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H. Michael Steinberg Esq.
Attorney and Counselor at Law
The Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm of H. Michael Steinberg
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