January 1, 2018

Fake ID charges in Texas

46% of college students have used a fake ID to get alcohol. 32% of college students have fake IDs by their fourth semester of college. Almost 13% of college students had fake IDs before starting college. If you step foot on a college campus in Texas, there’s a good chance that many students will have a fake ID in their purse or wallet. Fake IDs are a risky way for underage college students to purchase alcohol or get into a bar or club. However, if you are caught with a fake ID, you could face large fines, prison time, and a criminal conviction that will be on your record forever.

What can I be charged with if I get caught with a fake ID?

There are a number of ways that high school and college students obtain fake IDs. Some borrow an ID from older friends or siblings that may look like them. Some will purchase a fake ID online or from someone they know that manufactures fake IDs. Others may attempt to forge or change their birth date on a license. All of these scenarios are illegal under Texas law and range from tickets with fines to felonies with possible prison time.

Tampering with a Government RecordState jail to second degree felony6 months to 20 years in prison, and a possible fine up to $10,000
Possession of a Fake IDClass A misdemeanorUp to 1 year in jail and a possible fine up to $4,000
Misrepresentation of Age by a MinorClass C misdemeanorFine up to $500
Fictitious Driver’s LicenseClass C misdemeanorFine up to $500


Tampering with a government record

This is the statute that the State of Texas most often uses to prosecute high school and college students in possession of a fake ID. Tampering with a Government Record is found in Section 37.10 of the Texas Penal Code. This offense is punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison and a possible fine up to $10,000. If the government alleges that you intended to defraud another, then the offense is punishable by 2 to 20 years in prison. This section of the Penal Code makes it illegal to:

  • Alter or create a false entry on a government record
  • Make, present, or use any record, document, or thing with knowledge of its falsity with intent that it be taken as a genuine governmental record
  • Possess, sell, or offer to sell a government record or blank government record form with intent that it be used unlawfully
  • Make, present, or use a government record with knowledge of its falsity
  • Possess, sell, or offer to sell a governmental record or blank government al record form with knowledge that it was obtained unlawfully.

 Possession of a fake ID

This offense is found in Section 521.451 of the Texas Transportation Code. This offense is a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a possible fine up to $10,000. This section of the Transportation Code makes fake IDs illegal in several ways. However, if the person’s conduct also constitutes a crime under Alcoholic Beverage Code Section 106.07 (discussed below) then the person may only be prosecuted under that section. The statute states that a person may not:

  • Display or possess a driver’s license or certificate that the person knows is fictitious or has been altered
  • Lend a driver’s license to another person or knowingly allow another person to use the person’s driver’s license
  • Display or represent as a person’s own driver’s license or certificate not issued to the person
  • Possess more than one currently valid driver’s license or currently valid certificate
  • Provide a false name, address, or counterfeit document or make a false statement in an application for a driver’s license

 Misrepresentation of age by a minor

This fake ID law is found in Section 106.07 of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code. An offense under this section is a class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $500.  There is no jail time for an offense under this section. A minor commits an offense under this section if they state that they are 21 years of age or older or present any document indicating they are 21 years of age or older to a person engaged in selling or serving alcoholic beverages.

 Fictitious driver’s license

This section makes it illegal for a person under the age of 21 to possess a document that is “deceptively similar” to a driver’s license or personal identification certificate with intent to represent that the person is 21 years of age or older. This offense is a class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $500. There is no jail time associated with this offense.

What should I do if arrested for fake ID?

If you are caught with a fake ID or charged with manufacturing or selling counterfeit IDs, call David Overhuls today at 713-223-8801 to schedule your free consultation. David is a former special crimes prosecutor and will use that experience to help with your fake ID charges whether they are punishable by prison time or fines.

Contact David Today!