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Using a fake ID can come with serious penalties in Colorado

As a parent, when you sent your child off to the University of Colorado, you likely hoped that they would stay out of trouble—but you also knew that college students tend to have some fun, and you might well have assumed that your child would party sometimes.

What you may not have expected, however, is that they would use a fake ID to buy alcohol or go to bars. And you probably did not expect at all that- unlike the old days of switching IDs with a cousin who is a few years older and looks similar. Many college students purchase high-quality fake IDs from shady overseas online companies with the same picture as their real license and correctly list their name and address with a fake date of birth.

These “high quality” fakes inspire false confidence, as they are still easily caught by a trained eye. Students using fake IDs run the risk of having the fake ID confiscated and turned over to the police. If this happens, it is important to understand the consequences your child could face, both legal and academic.

The legal consequences for using a fake ID

Many college students procure a fake ID because they don’t want to feel left out when older friends go out to bars or purchase alcohol, unaware of the extent to which they could face legal consequences if a bouncer, bartender or liquor store employee confiscates their ID and hands it over to the police.

Possessing a fake ID violates over a half-dozen laws in Colorado and using one can in some circumstances even result in felony charges, especially if the person caught with the fake continues to misrepresent their age when police get involved. A first offense where a student is caught using a fake ID to buy alcohol or enter a bar will likely receive misdemeanor charges.

Still, even these lesser charges could lead to legal consequences, including a fine, probation or jail time.

The academic consequences for using a fake ID

Using a fake ID is also against school policy at the University of Colorado, and your child could face academic consequences – in addition to any legal consequences they may face – if caught with one.

The exact nature of their penalties will depend on the degree to which their offense violated the school’s code of conduct. It is possible they could face academic probation, suspension or expulsion for using a fake ID.

While you will likely feel disappointed if your child gets caught using a fake ID, you will also want to do everything in your power to protect their education and their future from such a mistake that many college students make. It is important to seek experienced legal counsel to determine how you can help your child mitigate potential penalties and avoid having a mistake turn into a permanent mark on their legal or academic record.