Fake IDs and Criminal Consequences

Fake IDs were ever-present on campus when I was an undergraduate. There were several varieties: a “novelty” driver’s license obtained from a private vendor, a doctored version of the underage person’s real driver’s license, a duplicate driver’s license from an older relative, friend or acquaintance who resembled the underage person, or, the gold standard: a DMV-issued driver’s license with the underage person’s picture but an older person’s name, address, and birthdate. These days, on-line vendors hawk fake IDs, and facial recognition software makes it nearly impossible to obtain the gold standard fake ID from DMV. Otherwise, not all that much has changed in the collegiate fake-id market.

Often an underage person’s use of fraudulent identification leads to charges that are purely alcohol-related, such as the unlawful purchase or consumption of alcohol by an underage person. But other criminal charges may stem directly from the use of the fake ID.

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Identity Theft

Every year the Federal Trade Commission releases a list of top consumer complaints received by the agency. In 2012–for the 12th year in a row–identity theft complaints topped the list. The North Carolina Department of Justice reports that in this state, about 300,000 people are victimized annually by identity theft. In fact, five North Carolina … Read more

What to Do When a Defendant Is Charged under the Wrong Name

Sometimes, a defendant is charged under the wrong name. This usually happens when the defendant gives a false name upon arrest. When this is discovered, what should be done? There are two options. First, the state can dismiss the case, re-charge the defendant under the correct name, and encourage the person whose name was used … Read more

Supreme Court News

The Supreme Court (Washington, not Raleigh) has had a bit of a slow February so far, whether because of Justice Ginsburg’s well-publicized health problems or for some other reason.  Still, it’s done a couple things of interest to criminal lawyers. First, it adopted a broad interpretation of 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(9), which prohibits people who have … Read more