Fearless, Focused And Experienced Criminal Defense

  1. Home
  2.  » 
  3. Federal Offenses
  4.  » How serious is an identity theft charge?

How serious is an identity theft charge?

On Behalf of | Jul 25, 2023 | Federal Offenses

Personal information is a powerful thing. With just a name, date of birth and social security number, users may open bank accounts, perform financial transactions and more. If this kind of information got into the wrong hands, it could be catastrophic. Because of this, using another person’s identity is a crime that could lead to years of jail time.

The penalties for federal identity theft

The unlawful use of another person’s personal information is known as identity theft. Organized crime groups that used to focus on drug trafficking and other high-profile crimes are turning their heads toward identity theft. Not only is personal information useful for financial scams, but it can also help criminals commit other federal offenses, such as money laundering or terrorism.

Flaws in technology have left the personal data of millions of individuals vulnerable to theft or misuse. Meanwhile, crime groups use increasingly sophisticated tactics to impersonate and deceive victims to gain access to their sensitive information. Reports show that about one-third of Americans have been a target of an identity theft attempt.

Crimes of this magnitude will garner the attention of federal law enforcement agencies such as the FBI and the U.S. Secret Service. A conviction for identity theft can result in up to 15 years in jail and fines. Because identity theft often involves multiple federal felonies, defendants may potentially serve more time in jail.

Federal crimes like identity theft call for multiple investigations and a complex criminal process. Law enforcement will go to great lengths to make a suspect talk. Those accused of identity theft may want to hire an attorney immediately. They can help the accused avoid incriminating themselves.