A person commits identity theft when they use someone else’s personal
identifying information, such as their Social Security number, driver’s
license, name, or their bank account information. Identity theft covers
a broad range of criminal behaviors, which use someone else’s identifying
- Obtain credit cards
- Open a bank account
- Purchase checks
- Obtain a loan
- Re-route the victim’s mail
- Impersonate the victim when speaking to law enforcement
- Receive medical services
- Obtain utilities without the victim’s permission
- Rent a home or apartment
- Buy a car or truck
In addition to the above, identity theft includes writing checks using
someone else’s name or financial account information. A victim’s
information can be illegally obtained if a checkbook is stolen or if someone
obtains access to a checking account or credit card number electronically.
If someone uses a stolen ATM or credit card, that is considered identity
theft. Sometimes, identity theft occurs in a family and the victims are
young children, seniors, or domestic violence survivors.
Identity Theft in Arizona is a Felony
In Arizona, identity theft is generally prosecuted as a Class 2, 3, or
4 felony. For example, under Arizona Revised Statutes Annotated Section
13-2009, the aggravated taking of another’s identity is a Class 3 felony.
Examples of identity theft:
- Knowingly taking or accepting someone else’s identity (Class 4 felony)
- Sell, transfer, or transmit another’s personal identifying information
(Class 2 felony)
Arizona punishes identity theft crimes harshly, however, the penalties
can range significantly depending on the facts of the case. For example,
if someone is convicted of trafficking in identifying information (Class
2 felony), they face up to 35 years in prison.
Not only does a felony conviction include a fine up to $150,000, if the
identity theft victim lost money or suffered financial harm, the state
will order restitution, which compensates a victim for their losses.
If you are facing charges for identity theft,
contact Phoenix Criminal Defense Attorney Joshua S. Davidson. As a former prosecutor
with over 15 years’ experience, he can help you!