Fake IDs in Charlotte, North Carolina

Throughout Charlotte and North Carolina, high school and college students have been using Fake IDs to buy alcohol or enter a bar for decades. Back in our day there were several forms of Fake IDs: a driver’s license obtained from a private vendor, a version of an underage person’s driver’s license that has been doctored to reflect an older age, a duplicate driver’s license from a relative or friend who resembles the underage person or an actual DMV issued driver’s license with the underage person’s picture but an older person’s name, address and birthdate. Today, as technology advances, underage persons can obtain a fake ID from an online vendor and do not have to beg their older cousin. Otherwise, not all that much has changed, people under the age of 21 are still trying to buy beer and get into bars using a Fake ID.

The attorneys of Browning & Long, PLLC frequently represent individuals accused of using a Fake ID to attempt to purchase alcohol or enter an establishment that serves alcohol. Although these charges seem insignificant, they can result in a criminal conviction and the revocation of your driver’s license. A criminal conviction for using a fake ID will appear on your criminal record and accordingly, will require that you inform employers and schools of your conviction. Our former Mecklenburg County Assistant District Attorneys can help you avoid a criminal conviction and other stiff penalties by negotiating with the District Attorney’s Office to allow you to enter a deferred prosecution program, or if necessary, take your case to trial.



Typically, Fake ID charges arise in the context of an underage person using a Fake ID to obtain alcohol or gain entry into a bar. Fake ID charges stemming from alcohol related activates are laid out in North Carolina G.S. 18B-302(e).

1.       Unlawful Activity: Pursuant to North Carolina G.S. 18B-302(e) it is unlawful for any person to use a Fake ID, alerted driver’s license or any other fraudulent or alerted identification document to do any of the following:

1.       enter or attempt to enter a place where alcoholic beverages are sold or consumed,

2.       obtain or attempt to obtain alcoholic beverages, or

3.       to obtain or attempt to obtain permission to purchase alcoholic beverages

2.       Severity of the Crime: A violation of North Carolina G.S. 18B-302(e) is a class 1 misdemeanor and if convicted will result in the suspension of your driver’s license.

3.       The Punishment:

1.       Class 1 Misdemeanor: An individual convicted of a Class 1 Misdemeanor can face a maximum punishment of 120 days in Jail.

2.       Loss of Driver’s License: If you are convicted of purchasing or attempting to purchase alcohol your driver’s license will be revoked for one year pursuant to G.S. 20-17.3.


Not all Fake ID charges, however, relate to purchasing alcohol or entering a bar. North Carolina G.S. 20-30(3) makes it a Class 2 misdemeanor to display or represent a driver’s license that is not issued to you. DMV may suspend a person’s driver’s license for up to a year if convicted under North Carolina G.S. 20-30(3). Charges under this statue typically arise when one gives a Fake ID to a law enforcement officer during a traffic stop or another encounter.


In North Carolina there are stiff penalties for allowing an underage person to use your driver’s license to consume, possess or purchase alcohol. Pursuant to North Carolina G.S.18B-302(f) it shall be unlawful for a person to permit another person to use their driver’s license of other identification document to purchase or attempt to purchase alcohol or enter or attempt to enter an establishment that serves alcohol. A violation of G.S. 18B-302(f) is a Class 1 misdemeanor and revokes of the offender’s driver’s license for one year.

Additionally, North Carolina G.S. 20-30(2) makes it a Class 2 misdemeanor to counterfeit, sell, lend to, or knowingly permit the use of a driver’s license by a person not entitled to its use. DMV may suspend a person’s license for up to one year for conviction of this offense.


1.       Get Your Charge Dismissed: Oftentimes our attorneys can negotiate with the District Attorney to allow you to take a class for dismissal of your charge. Once your case is dismissed our attorneys can thoroughly review you case to determine if you are eligible to have your charge permanently expunged from your criminal record so employers or schools will never know you were charged with an underage drinking crime.

2.       Take Your Case to Trial: If you are ineligible for the class our attorneys or not afraid to protect your rights in court. While Howard and Todd served as Mecklenburg County Assistant District Attorneys they prosecuted thousands of fake ID violations and know how to try these cases in the courtroom if necessary.

3.       Allow You to Drive: If you are convicted of using a Fake ID under North Carolina G.S. 18B-302(e) your License will be suspended. Our Attorneys can get you a limited driving privilege to allow you to drive for work, school, household maintenance and medical purposes during the period of your suspension.

Although these charges seem trivial, if convicted, you face serious consequences. Our attorneys at Browning & Long, PLLC will thoroughly review your case and can help you avoid the potential serious consequences resulting from a conviction of a Fake ID related charge. 

Are You Looking for a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Charlotte, NC?

If you are facing criminal charges, you need to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Charlotte office directly at 980.207.3355 to schedule your free consultation.

Howard W. Long, II
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Charlotte Criminal Defense and DWI Lawyer