In 2014 over 1.5 million California residents reported that they were victims of identity theft according to a survey released by Javelin Strategy & Research. In the U.S. 12.7 million Americans were affected that same year.
What Is Considered Identity Theft?
Understanding what is legally considered identity theft in California is important if you are facing accusations. Identity theft is a criminal offense defined as using another person's identity without permission for fraudulent purposes or personal gain of some kind.
California Penal Code Section 530.5 lists four types of identity theft:
- Section A: Unauthorized use of a person's identifying information (PII)
- Section C: Fraudulent possession of another person's PII
- Section D-1: Fraudulent sale, transfer or conveyance of another PII
- Section D-2: Knowingly selling, transferring or conveying another person's PII to facilitate its unauthorized use.
Examples of personal identifying information include:
- Name and other names used
- Social Security number
- Driver's license and/or other government Id's
- Birth date
- Place of birth
- Mother's maiden name
- Telephone numbers
- Financial information
- Marital status
- Military records
Penalties for Identity Theft in Riverside County
If you're facing charges of identity theft, it is important to know the penalties you face. Under Penal Code 530.5, identify theft can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor. The decision of which option to charge depends on your criminal history, the extent of the loss involved and other relevant factors pertaining to your specific case.
If you're being charged with Identity theft you could face:
- Fines of up to $10,000: If the accused has been convicted of using another person's PII for unlawful purposes, they can be fined up to $1,000. However, if the accused has been convicted of identity theft on an elderly person or a dependent adult, they can face much higher fines of up to $10,000.
- Up to 4 years of prison time: If the accused is convicted of committing identity theft, they face up to 4 years of incarceration.
- Probation: In some cases, a judge may rule the accused be put on probation in addition to jail time. If this is the case, the person convicted must adhere to the outline rules of the judge. Some judges may restrict how far from home the convicted can go, require them to meet weekly with a probation officer, and restrict contact with other known previously convicted criminals.
- Restitution: If the person who had their identity stolen suffered a financial loss, the court will order restitution as part of the accused's sentence. Restitution payments allow the affected party to be repaid for their financial loss.
Talk to a Knowledgeable Temecula Identity Theft Defense Attorney Today
If you've recently been accused of identity theft, you need to get legal advice. At the Law Office of Nicolai Cocis, our lawyer has the experience and skill you need for you to feel confident in your defense. We are committed to delivering our clients high-quality representation. We provide top legal representation to individuals who have been arrested in Murrieta, Temecula, Menifee, Wildomar, Lake Elsinore, Hemet, Corona, Banning, or Riverside.
Contact our offices today for a free consultation.
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