Identity theft is a crime in California. Identity theft relates to the deliberate use of someone else’s name and identifying information to obtain a financial benefit. Criminal identity theft is a separate crime and relates to using another person’s name and identifying information resulting in a criminal conviction record being created in that person’s name. This post will discuss identity theft crimes.
What is Identity Theft?
California Penal Code 530 is the section of the criminal law code that deals with identity theft crimes. San Diego police and the district attorney’s office have specialized units that investigate, arrest, and charge individuals accused of identity theft crimes. A growing state and national issue, identity theft crimes are aggressively prosecuted at both the state and federal level.
Identity theft or fraud describe crimes in which someone wrongfully obtains and uses another person’s personal data in some way that involves fraud or deception, most often for economic gain. Identity theft is a federal and state offense.
Federal identity theft charges are often accompanied by other crimes. They are identification fraud, credit card fraud, computer fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, or financial institution fraud.
What are the Criminal Penalties for Identity Theft Charges?
In California, identity theft crimes are penalties punishable by up to three years of state prison, restitution to the victim, court costs and fines, and post-release parole supervision.
The federal identity theft crimes listed above are felonies and can result in up to 30 years of imprisonment in a federal detention or correctional center.
Charged Under California’s Identity Theft Laws? Hire a San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney
A criminal case usually starts with a police arrest report. The prosecutor then decides what criminal charges to file. Some cases go to a grand jury for a preliminary indictment, where a jury decides if there is enough evidence to proceed. If you or someone you know is facing identity theft charges in California, contact the San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney.
California offers pretrial diversion programs for first-time offenders as an alternative to prosecution. Eligibility depends on age and prior criminal record. Criminal charges under the pretrial diversion program are dismissed if the person successfully completes court mandated programs and conditions within a specified time frame. Continue reading