Minor In Possession Of Fake ID (2024)

Underage and Under Scrutiny: Navigating PC 470b for Minors Caught with Fake IDs in Los Angeles

Understanding California Penal Code 470b

What is PC 470b? PC 470b makes it a crime to possess or use a fake ID for the purpose of deceit or fraud. This means if your ID is edited, fake, or of someone else, and you intend to use it for some fraudulent purpose, you may end up under the hammer of this law. The law is designed to prevent fraud and protect the integrity of identification documents.

Possession vs. Use of a Fake ID

This is quite important: "If a person has a fake ID." This implies that the ID is within your possession or in a place that is under your control, such as your wallet or room.

Now, "Use" would connote that you are actually showing the ID to some other person with the intention to deceive, such as trying to get into a bar or purchase alcohol.

Both acts are unlawful under PC 470b, but this is what makes this charge a wobbler—meaning that it can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony.

The Legal Implications of Possessing a Fake ID

As we just briefly showed you, penalties for either possession or the use of a fake identification actually varies based on a case by case basis. Generally, PC 470 punishment may either be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony.

a. Punishment for Misdemeanor Charges: Punishable by no longer than a year in county jail, fines, community service, or probation.
b. Felony Charges: In more serious charges, particularly if the PC 470b relates to identity theft, or other major crimes, the charge could be escalated to a felony. This would bring up to three years in state prison and larger fines.

California Penal Code 470 PC: The Impact on One’s Future

Being convicted of having or using a fake ID carries penalties that often reach far past the actual legal penalties involved. For young adults and high school students, that can result in complications or problems finding gainful employment, obtaining educational opportunities, and may even present future housing problems.

Young professionals that already have a job also risk their career, possibly even losing their job. In the instance of healthcare or education staff, getting their professional license revoked means they can never work again in healthcare or education; their main field of practice.

However, the stakes are still higher for the immigrant. A conviction under PC 470 might jeopardize their immigration status, and, in the worst scenario, might lead to deportation of the person, or the person may become ineligible for naturalization afterwards.

It's a reminder of how a seemingly small decision can have significant repercussions.

Steps to Take If Caught with a Fake ID

a. Stay Calm and Polite: In the event that one is being arrested over the fake ID, being very calm and polite to the enforcement officer remains of paramount importance; any form of panic might worsen the situation.

b. Remain Quiet: You do not have to say anything. But if you do, please refuse to answer questions until you have a lawyer or public defender with you. Anything you say can be used against you in court.

c. Contact a Lawyer: When charged with any of the penalties under PC 470b, you are supposed to consult a lawyer. The lawyer will advise the person on pleading not guilty or deciding to negotiate for a plea bargain.

d. Follow Legal Advice: Your attorney is going to give advice on what to do as to taking steps, including how to approach court appearances. The attorney will also help engage in talks with prosecutors. The advice of a lawyer is important; for the best results.

CA PC 470: The Role of Legal Representation

There's nothing quite like having a lawyer who understands the technicalities of California fake ID laws and how they might apply in your case. A lawyer can:

a. Argue Against the Strength of the Evidence: A well-experienced barrister is able to establish from the strengths in the prosecution's evidence if there are any points of weakness.

b. Negotiate Reduced Charges: Your attorney may negotiate with the prosecutor towards possible reductions of the charges or another type of sentencing, which may include community services or probation.

c. Defend You Before the Court: If the case goes to trial, it will be the responsibility of a seasoned attorney to fight for your rights with the aim of getting the best possible outcome in your case.


Is PC 470 a Felony or Misdemeanor?

Whether the PC 470 penalty is a misdemeanor or a Felony in California really depends on what the aggravating circ*mstances of the crime are and what criminal history the person has. Most first-time offenses, however, without any aggravating factors are probably going to be misdemeanors. However, if the fake ID is used in connection with other crimes, the charges can quickly escalate to felony status.

Is it illegal to possess a fake ID?

Yes, one cannot have a false ID. In the state of California, it is the crime according to law, and from the California Penal Code 470b, it states it is a crime for any person to display or have in his possession any identification which he knows to be a product of forgery or fraud.

Is possessing a fake ID a felony?

In Los Angeles, anyone caught in possession of a fake ID is liable to be charged with a misdemeanor, or in some severe cases, a felony charge. This will be determined by given circ*mstances—like who owns that fake ID, what it is intended to be used for, and the criminal history of the person with it.


Possessing and/or using a false ID within Los Angeles County has far-reaching implications, which are not only grave but also very impactful; they have the potential to negatively alter the course of life of a minor and young adult. Understanding the law, knowing potential penalties, and taking immediate steps toward legal representation are key to saving yourself.

If you or someone you know has been slapped with a PC 470 California charge, the best possible person that you have to be in touch with is one of our experienced attorneys. Schedule a meeting with one of our qualified lawyers today, and save your rights and future.

Minor In Possession Of Fake ID (2024)


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