Virginia takes identity theft crimes very seriously, which is why if you are facing the consequences of this charge, you will need an experienced Virginia criminal defense attorney on your side. Contact our firm today to learn more.
How does Virginia define identity theft?
Identity theft in Virginia is characterized as a serious criminal offense. The Virginia statute for identity theft makes it a crime for any person, without the permission of the person who is the subject of the identifying information, to do any of the following with the intent to commit fraud, or with the intent to sell or distribute such information:
- Obtain, record, or access identifying information that is not available to the general public that would help in accessing financial resources, obtaining identifying documents, or obtaining benefits (e.g., a social security number);
- Obtain money, credit, loans, or goods or services by using another person’s identifying information;
- Obtain identification documents in someone else’s name; or
- Obtain, record, or access identifying information by impersonating a law enforcement officer or a government official.
Additionally, it is a violation for an individual to use identification documents or information of another person, living or nonliving. Below are some examples of identifying information:
- Social security number
- Date of birth
- Driver’s license number
- Bank account numbers
- PIN numbers
What are the penalties for identity theft in Virginia?
Virginia has varying degrees of penalties for identity theft. The charge is classified as a Class 1 misdemeanor with a penalty of up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. If the financial loss caused by the identity fraud is $500 or more, then it is a Class 6 felony punishable by up to five years in prison. In addition, a violation of this law with the intent to sell or distribute the identifying information where there are five or more victims in the same transaction or occurrence is punishable is a Class 5 felony, which can result in one to ten years in jail. If the number of victims is 50 more, it is a Class 4 felony punishable by two to ten years in jail.
Virginia law also implements a harsher punishment to identity theft that causes the person whose identifying information was used to avoid arrest or prosecution to be arrested, making it a Class 5 felony with a penalty range of one to ten years.
Virginia courts will also request restitution to be paid to the individual/individuals whose identifying information was taken or misused.
CONTACT OUR FIRM
Patzig Law is a dedicated Virginia law firm handling a variety of legal matters throughout the Commonwealth. We have significant experience in divorce, alimony, equitable distribution, child custody, and support. If you need an aggressive criminal defense attorney, our lawyers will fight to protect your rights in cases including DUIs, drug crimes, weapons offenses, fraud, theft, and much more. If you need a Chesapeake divorce lawyer to handle any of your family law matters, contact Patzig Law today.