Identity Theft Laws
Identity Theft can be considered one of the fastest growing crimes. It is the using of another individuals identity information to get credit, goods, or services. It can also be using the identity and information of another person without that persons permission to commit a fraud. Selling or providing the personal identifying information to commit a fraud also falls into Identity theft. The person receiving the information can also be charged with theft if willfully using the victims information. Identity Theft is considered a wobbler. Wobbler crimes can swing as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the case and criminal history.
Punishments for Identity Theft
If the case was seen as a misdemeanor, then up to a year in county jail and a $1000 fine will be imposed. If convicted as a felony, up to a three year sentence to prison can be issued along with a $10,000 fine. An important thing to note is that each identity theft crime is a separate offense. Even if the same victim is used for each act, each act will carry separate charges. Some related offenses that often get charged along with identity theft goes along with the crime that was committed. Such examples include credit card fraud, forgery, welfare fraud, and internet fraud.
Defending against Identity Theft
Its important to note that just because you have an individuals information does not make you a criminal. To be charged with Identity Theft there must be an unlawful purpose or have fraudulent intent. An example would be if you had a friends information but did not use it n the end. This example shows that you had an individuals information but did not use it. In that case you cannot be charged with identity theft.
Having an attorney that knows the different types of Identity thefts out there can allow you to have the lowest possible charges.