New York Fake ID Crimes: FAQ

What is a Crime for a Fake ID?

In New York, the crime charged for a fake ID is typically Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, PL 170.25, a class D felony, which is punishable by up to 7 years in state prison. This charge requires proof that the person who possessed it intended to use it to deceive another person, which is not a difficult burden for law enforcement to meet in most scenarios. If it is a real person's information on the fake ID, the person can be charged with Criminal Impersonation, PL 190.25, which is an A misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail. A person can also be charged with Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Third Degree, which is also a class A misdemeanor. If the fake ID is presented as part of a theft from that person, say when using their credit card to make unauthorized purchases, even more serious felony charges can be brought.

What is the Charge in New York for Having a Fake ID?

In New York, a person cannot typically be charged with a crime simply for possessing a fake ID. However, if the person intends to use the fake ID to defraud or deceive someone else, which is almost always easily demonstrated in typical circumstances, that person can be charged with Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, PL 170.25, a class D felony, which is punishable by up to seven years in state prison. If the fake ID is presented as part of a theft from the person on the ID, say when using their credit card to make unauthorized purchases, even more serious felony charges can be brought.

What is the Punishment for a Fake ID

Depending on the circumstances, using a fake ID can be punishable by up to seven years in prison, or more if the fake ID is used in connection to another crime. More often, possession of a fake ID is handled as an A misdemeanor, such as Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Third Degree, PL 170.20, an A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail.

Is it Against the Law to Buy a Fake ID

In New York, it is not technically illegal to purchase a fake ID. However, if it is an actual ID that has been stolen, or if it can be proven that the person possessed the ID with the intent to defraud or deceive, which is typically very easy to establish, a person who possesses a fake ID can be charged with a crime such as Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, PL 170.25, a class D felony, which is punishable by up to seven years in state prison.

Is it a felony to have a fake ID

Yes. While technically not a felony to simply possess a fake ID in New York without any other factors or circumstances, it is almost always the case that the circumstances in which a fake ID is discovered by law enforcement will allow for the accusation that the person possessing the fake ID intended to use it to deceive another person, which does amount to Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, PL 170.25, a class D felony, which is punishable by up to seven years in state prison. If the fake ID is used in connection to some other illegal act, such as making an unauthorized purchase with another person's credit card information, other serious felony charges may also follow.

What is Criminal Possession of a Forged instrument

Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree is a class D felony in New York, which is punishable by up to seven years in prison. This law criminalizes the possession of a forged official document, such as a fake ID, when the person who possesses it knows that it is forged and intends to use it to defraud or deceive another person. Other degrees of this same crime are Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Third Degree, a class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in jail, which includes any forged document, not just official government IDs, and Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the First Degree, a class C felony, punishable by up to fifteen years in state prison, which encompasses forged money, stamps or documents related to securities.

Call the New York State criminal defense lawyers and former New York City prosecutors at (212) 312-7129 or contact us online today.

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