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UPDATE: What are the Penalties for Using a Fake ID in Wisconsin?

 Posted on September 05, 2023 in Criminal Defense

Waukesha County defense attorney

Originally published: May 22, 2019 -- Updated: September 5, 2023

Update: As described below, minors may face charges if they make, possess, or use falsified ID cards. However, since the most common reason for doing so is to be able to purchase alcohol, minors may also face charges related to underage drinking. Criminal charges may also apply to anyone who sells or gives alcohol to a minor. It is important for those who may potentially face these accusations to understand the penalties that may apply if they are convicted. By working with an attorney who has experience in these types of criminal defense cases, they can respond to the charges against them and defend against a conviction.

A minor may be charged with a violation if they attempt to purchase or procure alcohol from a store, bar, restaurant, or other establishment by misrepresenting their age or by any other means. However, exceptions apply if a minor is accompanied by a parent, guardian, or spouse who is over the age of 21. These violations may result in a fine of $250-500 for a first offense, $300-500 for a second offense within 12 months, $500-750 for a third offense, or $750-1,000 for a fourth offense. Other situations in which a minor possesses or consumes alcohol may also lead to violations. The penalties for these violations include fines of $100-200 for a first offense, $200-300 for a second offense, $300-500 for a third offense, or $500-1,000 for a fourth offense. In addition to fines, a minor will be subject to a suspension of their driver’s license, and they may be ordered to perform community service.

Adults may be charged with violations if they knowingly sell or furnish alcohol to minors. These violations may apply to the owner of an establishment that failed to check or verify IDs or to a person who purchased alcohol on behalf of someone they knew was underage. A first violation may lead to a $500 fine. A second violation within 30 months may result in a $500 fine and a sentence of up to 30 days in jail. For a third violation, the fine increases to $1,000, and the maximum sentence is 90 days. A fourth offense may result in a maximum $10,000 fine and imprisonment for up to nine months. In addition to these penalties, an establishment owner may face a suspension of their liquor license.




Fake or false identification cards have been around for as long as government entities have issued real ID cards. There are many things a person needs an ID to for, like purchasing alcohol or cigarettes, cashing a check, and boarding an airplane. Most of the time, fake driver’s licenses and IDs are procured by minors who want to purchase alcohol or get into bars, but they are also used in committing fraud and other offenses. 

The State of Wisconsin takes the production, sale, and possession of fake IDs seriously. If you have been charged for any offense involving fake identification, it is important to seek representation from an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Falsifying Proof of Age in Wisconsin

According to Wisconsin law, no person is permitted to make, alter, or duplicate an official ID card, provide an underage person with an ID card for the purpose of showing the underage person has reached legal drinking age, or possess an ID card with the intention of giving it to an underage person. If you are caught doing any of the aforementioned activities, you could be fined $300 to $1,250 and incarcerated for 10 to 30 days.

Consequences become steeper when a person makes, duplicates, alters, or provides an underage person with an ID for money. Those convicted of falsifying proof of age for money in Wisconsin can be charged with a Class I felony, which can result in up to three years and six months in prison and fines of up to $10,000.

Charges for Underage Offenders

If you are under the age of 21, being convicted of any of the following actions can result in additional consequences:

  • Intentionally carrying an ID card that is not legally issued to you, an ID  that was obtained under false pretenses, or an ID that has been altered or duplicated to show false information;
  • Making, altering, or duplicating an ID card to show you are of legal drinking age;
  • Presenting false information to an issuing officer when applying for an ID card; or
  • Intentionally carrying an ID card that shows you are of legal drinking age while knowing that information to be false. 

Consequences for underage offenders can result in $300 to $1,250 in fines, a suspension of driving privileges, required participation in a supervised work program, or other community service work. The sentence largely depends on the circumstances surrounding the event and your past criminal history, if you have one.

Contact Our Milwaukee County Underage Drinking Lawyer

At Bucher Law Group, LLC, we can help minors who have been charged with offenses related to possession of fake IDs or underage drinking determine their best options for defense. We can also provide legal help to those who have been accused of selling or otherwise providing alcohol to minors. To learn how our Jefferson County criminal defense attorney can assist with your case, contact us today at 262-303-4916 and set up a free consultation.

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