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Question: What is the penalty for being caught having a fake New York state driver's license that says you are older then you actually are?

Answer: The penalties you will receive depend upon the offense you're cited for by law enforcement with regards to having a fake New York ID.

We read in a New York Times article on this subject that there currently is no mandatory license suspension or fine for using a fake ID in New York, though a judge can choose to suspend the user's driver's license.

Underage individuals caught with fakes, according to an article in the NYU newspaper The Washington Square News, will incur a maximum penalty of one year in state prison. The minimum penalty, the article states, is a court summons, and most offenders are fined, the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control laws state.

However, if you are cited for a more serious offense then possessing a fraudulent driver's license can be a felony in New York state and is punishable on a state and federal level, according to New York state law. False ID possession is handled on a case-by-case basis by the courts and can result in a fine of up to $1,000 for first-time offenders.

If the ID does not list the owner's legal name and address, it may be considered criminal impersonation. Both accounts are punishable by up to a year in jail as well as a $1,000 fine. Minors who pay to gain entry into a club or to obtain a confiscated ID can also be charged with commercial bribing, according to the New York Post.

How police cited a person can depend upon many variables such as if the person had a prior history of arrests or has previously been penalized for owning a fake ID can all be taken into account. From the many articles we read on this subject it appears that most police officers will only charge them with an offense that comes with a fine if it is the first time the person is being arrested.

We contacted the New York State Troopers to see if they could clarify what penalties one would receive for having in their possession a fake driver's license that states they are older than they are. Their response was that there are a variety of charges that can be placed on that person including criminal impersonation and possession of a forged instrument - being two of the more serious ones.

The NYS trooper representative noted that conviction of these serious types of offense will give you a criminal record and can affect your job choices in the future. He also stated that to get information on how your local police and courts deal with those that are found with fake identification contact your local district attorney's office. You can also contact the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles to see how a fake driver's license may affect your driving record and driving privileges.

Just to give you a look into other state's laws concerning this issue here is information on a new California law. In early 2008 legislation went into effect in California that increased penalties for those who try to buy alcohol with a fake ID, and those who make and sell fraudulent identification cards.

CA assembly Bill 1658 increases the penalty for trying to use a fake ID from $100 to $250 for a first offense and for those who make or sell fake IDs, the fine increases from $500 to $1,000. This new law also clarifies that the fines can be accompanied by suspension of a driver's license for as long as a year.

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