Altering and falsifying diplomas and academic transcripts is a crime

On Behalf of | Dec 29, 2023 | Criminal Defense, White Collar Crimes |

While it’s true that school can’t give you all the lessons you need to learn to start living like an adult, your academic performance and background can still influence certain aspects of your life.

Maybe you’re applying for a graduate program or your first job – the people in charge of these things often look at your academic transcript to see how well you’ve fared in school. Sometimes, they want to look at your diploma to verify that you’ve actually completed your education.

You could be tempted to alter or falsify your educational experience or documents to improve your chances of getting a job or something similar. It might sound harmless, but this is a criminal offense in South Carolina.

Falsifying and fraudulent use of school documents

Per state law, it’s illegal for anyone to falsify or alter an academic transcript, diploma or a GED from any high school, college, university or technical college in South Carolina or from any other entity that issues diplomas/transcripts.

It’s also unlawful for anyone to use a falsified or altered diploma/transcript/GED with the intent to defraud or mislead another person.

This offense is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year of jail time and $1,000 in fines.

Frauds prohibited by the law

There are various reasons why someone would use fake or altered school records. Submitting these deceitful documents for the following reasons will count as fraudulent use:

  • To gain admission to a college or university that a person would not otherwise be eligible for
  • To gain employment or a promotion that requires a certain level of education or certification
  • To obtain financial aid or other benefits by falsely representing educational background
  • To cover up poor academic performance or lack of completion of coursework
  • To gain a competitive advantage over others in the job market or academic admissions process

Who wouldn’t want to put their best foot forward when applying for a new job or graduate program? However, falsifying school records isn’t the way – it’s a crime that leads to fines and jail time.

If you face charges, consider speaking with a legal professional. An attorney can guide you through the court process and help prepare your defense. A criminal record jeopardizes your future career opportunities, so consider your options carefully.


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