If you are experiencing the consequences of identity theft, you will need to retain the services of a skilled Virginia criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Our firm is dedicated to protecting you and your rights.
How does Virginia define identity theft?
The state of Virginia takes identity theft very seriously, which is why it is characterized as a severe 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 things 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.
Furthermore, it is a crime for an individual to use identification documents or information of another person, whether that person is living or nonliving. Some examples of identifying information include the following:
- Social security number
- Date of birth
- Driver’s license number
- Bank account numbers
- PIN numbers
What are the penalties for identity theft in Virginia?
Identity theft is punishable by Virginia law. Identity theft 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. Additionally, 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 prison.
Virginia law also applies a harsher penalty 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 order restitution to be paid to the individual/individuals whose identifying information was taken or abused. If you are going through an identity theft crime, you will need to retain the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney that can help you reach the best resolution.
Contact Our Firm
If you live in Virginia and have been charged with a crime, the time to speak with an experienced Richmond criminal defense attorney is now. Led by Attorney James A. Bullard Jr., our firm has fought on behalf of clients facing serious legal penalties for decades. We handle various criminal and traffic cases, including reckless driving tickets, DUIs, violent crimes, drug crimes, and so much more. Contact James A. Bullard Jr. P.C. today so we can begin formulating a comprehensive defense on your behalf.