As our world becomes more reliant on the internet and other electronic means for communication, there are more opportunities for personal information such as your name, address, phone number, and confidential financial records to be shared without us even being aware of it. Along with the significant advances in technology has come a substantial number of identity theft charges in Illinois and throughout the United States.
Information is much easier to access now than ever before, therefore, any given individual’s information may be at risk for being shared or used in a criminal way. However, simply being charged with identity theft does not necessarily mean there are more identity thieves out there. It simply means that law enforcement officials are investigating identity theft cases much more now than they used to.
While there certainly are identity thieves in Illinois who have wrongfully caused innocent people harm, there are also a large number of wrongly accused individuals who find themselves facing serious identity theft charges and feeling helpless. Because identity theft charges are very serious, as discussed below, it is essential that you speak with a qualified Chicago criminal defense attorney right away if you are facing identity theft charges.Identity Theft Under Illinois Law
Under Illinois law, 720 ILCS 5/16-30 , identity theft is a crime that can result in serious punishment. Identity theft is very broad, and includes, but is not necessarily limited to, the following conduct:
- Using another person’s identification information or personal identification document (such as a driver’s license, social security card, or passport) in order to fraudulently obtain credit, money, goods, services, or other property;
- Using another person’s identification information or personal identification document with the intent to commit any felony other than to fraudulently obtain credit, money, goods, services, or other property;
- Obtaining, recording, possessing, selling, transferring, purchasing, or manufacturing another person’s identification information or personal identification document with the intent to commit any felony;
- Using, obtaining, recording, possessing, selling, transferring, purchasing, or manufacturing another person’s identification information or personal identification document with the knowledge that such information was stolen or produced without lawful authority;
- Using, transferring, or possessing document-making implements to produce false identification or false documents with knowledge that such documents will be used by the person making the document or by another person to commit any felony;
- Using another person’s identification information or personal identification document to portray him or herself as that person, or for the purpose of gaining access to any personal identification information or personal identification document without the prior express permission of that person; and
- Using another person’s identification information or personal identification document for the purpose of gaining access to any records or documents showing communications made or received, and/or other activities or transactions of that person, without the prior express permission of that person
In addition to a charge of identity theft comes a potential charge of aggravated identity theft. Pursuant to 720 ILCS 5/16-30(b) , a person commits aggravated identity theft if he or she commits any of the conduct described above as “identity theft,” and either (1) the conduct was against a person age 60 or older, or against a person with a disability; or (2) the conduct was in furtherance of the activities of an organized gang.
As you can see from the information described above, identity theft is not as simple as pretending to be another person when purchasing coffee or food with a stolen credit card. As is the case with most crimes, there are variations and degrees that make certain types of identity theft more serious than other types. The sooner you are able to consult with David L. Freidberg and his skilled Chicago criminal defense legal team, the sooner we will be able to evaluate the charges that have been filed against you, and set forth a plan of action to have your case resolved as quickly as possible with the best outcome in mind.What Are the Consequences of Being Convicted of Identity Theft?
All forms of identity theft are considered felonies under Illinois law. As is the case with drug charges, where the penalties become more severe as the quantity of drugs increases, the same reasoning goes for identity theft. The greater the amount of money or value in question, the harsher the penalties. The range of penalties for identity theft are as follows:
|AMOUNT OF MONEY IN QUESTION||CLASSIFICATION||PRISON TIME|
|$300 or less||Class 4 Felony||1-3 years|
|$301 to $2,000||Class 3 Felony||2-5 years|
|$2,001 to $10,000||Class 2 Felony||3-7 years|
|$10,001 to $100,000||Class 1 Felony||4-15 years|
|$100,001 or more||Class X Felony||6-30 years|
It is important to remember that the range of punishment listed above may be different if you already have a criminal record at the time you are charged with identity theft. Therefore, the punishment could become more severe with subsequent charges and convictions.Contact Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney David L. Freidberg Today to Schedule Your Free Confidential Consultation
David L. Freidberg is a Chicago-based criminal defense attorney with more than 20 years of experience defending his clients’ constitutional rights and seeking the best resolution possible for each client’s case. David L. Freidberg has the skill, dedication, and experience to help you fight the criminal charge or charges that you are facing. If you are facing identity theft charges, it is imperative that you seek the advice of qualified legal counsel as soon as possible.
The quicker on of our Chicago criminal defense attorneys can speak with you and evaluate the facts of your case, the sooner we will be able to prepare a defense for you and address your options for facing the criminal charge or charges, and overcoming those charges. David L. Freidberg devotes his entire law practice to helping clients reach a result that is fair and reasonable under the circumstances. To schedule a free confidential consultation with David L. Freidberg , contact our office today by calling (312) 560-7100, or you may contact us by email , and we will respond to you as soon as possible. We are available 24/7 to answer any questions or concerns you may have.