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What is identity theft?

On Behalf of | Apr 18, 2022 | Federal Cases

People who hear that someone has been charged with identity theft tend to think about someone who takes someone else’s personal information and uses it to open financial accounts. This is certainly the most common type of identity theft, but it isn’t the only one. 

Identity theft is on the rise, which has many people jumpy about the possibility of having someone steal their identity. Unfortunately, this could lead to claims that aren’t factual. It’s imperative that anyone who’s being charged with identity theft learns as much as they can about this matter. 

What does it mean to steal someone’s identity?

Identity theft simply means that a person used someone else’s identifying personal information in an attempt to deceive another person or an entity about their identity. For example, someone could use another person’s name, Social Security number, birthday, and address to obtain an identification card. That’s identity theft, which is also the case if the person uses that identification card or the person’s information to apply for a credit card or obtain medical care. 

Depending on the circumstances of the case, identity theft can be charged as a state crime or a federal crime. Each of those has specific criteria, as well as specific sentences if the person is convicted of the charge they’re facing. 

Anyone who’s facing criminal charges for identity theft should ensure they understand their options for a defense. Even though this isn’t a violent crime, a conviction can still have long-lasting consequences. This is true even if the case is resolved through a plea deal, so be very careful if you’re considering entering into one. Working with someone who’s familiar with these situations can help you to learn your defense options and determine what’s best for your needs.