As people spend more and more time online in their daily lives, concerns about privacy and security have come to the fore. Due to data breaches and other issues, the misuse of personal information has become a significant concern for many people. Identity theft is a serious crime that can result in harsh fines and imprisonment for the offender. It occurs when a person uses someone else’s name, Social Security number, date of birth, account numbers, or other identifying information without their consent for financial gain. This can include opening a credit card, taking out a loan, or accessing a bank account. In Illinois, identity theft is considered a felony offense, and a conviction can result in severe consequences for the defendant.
Charges for Different Types of Identity Theft in Illinois
There are several different types of offenses that may be considered identity theft, including:
Illegal Use of a Person’s Identifying Information: In general, any use of someone’s personal information to obtain money, goods, services, or credit is considered to be identity theft. The specific charges for this offense can range from a Class 4 felony in situations involving the theft of less than $300 to a Class X felony for theft of over $100,000.
Unlawful Possession or Use of a Credit or Debit Card: A person can face criminal charges if they use a credit or debit card without the owner’s consent. This includes using a stolen card or a card number that was obtained through fraudulent means. This will usually be charged as a Class 4 felony, although Class 3 felony charges may apply if a person used three or more credit or debit cards belonging to someone else within a 12-month period.
Identity Theft With the Intent to Commit a Felony: Actions that are considered identity theft may be part of a scheme involving one or more felony offenses. For example, the identifying information of multiple people may be used to commit large-scale fraud, or information may be sold or transferred to others by a person who knows that it will be used to commit a felony. In these cases, identity theft may be charged as a Class 3 felony, or Class 2 felony charges may apply in situations where a person whose information was stolen or used without their consent was a member of the U.S. military on active duty.
Aggravated Identity Theft: More serious charges may apply if identity theft is committed against a senior over the age of 60 or a disabled person or if the offense was related to the activities of an organized gang. The specific charges for this offense can range from a Class 3 felony in situations involving the theft of less than $300 to a Class X felony for theft of over $100,000.
Identity Theft Related to Manufacturing Methamphetamines: People who are charged with offenses related to operating a meth lab may also face identity theft charges if they used someone else’s identifying information in order to obtain materials used to manufacture meth. This form of identity theft may result in Class 2 felony charges for a first offense and Class 1 felony charges for a second offense.
Contact Our DuPage County Identity Theft Defense Lawyer
The consequences of a conviction on charges related to identity theft can be severe, and they may include a prison sentence of multiple years and up to $25,000 in fines. If you have been arrested and charged with identity theft, it is essential to seek legal representation immediately. At [[title]], our Naperville identity theft defense attorney can help you navigate the legal system and work to resolve your case successfully. To learn how we can help with these types of charges or other criminal offenses, contact us at [[phone]] and arrange a free consultation.