State Laws Reflect Serious Nature of Identity Theft
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the term “identity theft” applies to any crime in which a person unlawfully uses the personal information of another party to commit fraudulent or deceptive acts. It often involves false applications for credit cards or loans, making unauthorized withdrawals from bank accounts, or creating fake online accounts to take advantage of the victim.
Identity theft has been in the national spotlight for some time, as the internet has made it easier for malicious hackers to access personal information — especially passwords, account numbers and credit card information. Millions of people are victims of identity theft each year. Experts say the problem hit an all-time high in 2016.
Georgia has its own set of laws covering identity theft issues. The following are felony offenses in the state:
- Possessing or using another person’s personal information without consent and with fraudulent intent
- Possessing or using any personal information for an individual who is dead with fraudulent intent
- Creating, possessing or using identifying information for a fictitious person with fraudulent or otherwise criminal intent
- Using the personal information of a person under 18, even if that minor is in your custody
- Creating, using or possessing any counterfeit or false identifying information for a real person with the intent to use that information to commit a crime
- Accepting personally identifying information known to be fake, stolen or otherwise fraudulent for purposes of identification
Convictions on charges that meet the definition of identity fraud in Georgia could result in up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $100,000 or both. For subsequent offenses, convictions could involve prison terms of up to 15 years, fines of up to $250,000 or both.
For further guidance on what you should do when accused of identity theft or a related crime, work with a skilled Georgia criminal defense attorney at James D. Michael, P.C. Call our office at 404-857-4059 or contact us online to get started.