In 1964 the term “identity theft” began to be used in the courts. Also referred to as identity fraud and cloning, this crime includes a person assuming another person’s identity for personal gain.
There are several different forms of identity theft. Some of the most common include the following:
- Identity Cloning and Concealment – This form of fraud does not necessarily result in financial gain. Stealing someone’s personal information is used to hide who someone really is. Common examples include someone who is hiding from other individuals or someone who is in the country illegally. Those guilty of this crime have often times faked such identification as driver’s licenses and social security cards.
- Criminal Theft – This form of the crime is similar to the above type in that a person is directly referring to him or herself as someone else. However, this term applies to those who are also being charged of another crime. An example includes a drunk driver being pulled over and then giving a false name to the cop.
- Synthetic Theft – This form is possibly the most common in today’s society. It involves stealing information from a person for financial gain. This includes stealing the numbers of credit cards, bank accounts, and social security numbers.
More and more people are being charged with theft crimes. The penalties can be extremely harsh, too harsh in many people’s opinions. The sentences will be based on the degree of the crime. People who have stolen very little money and have caused little damage may only be at risk of community service and fines. However, some identity theft punishments, especially for felonies, have been known to include jail time.
If you are looking to learn more about legal defense against crimes of identify theft, visit the website of the Milwaukee criminal defense attorneys of Kohler & Hart, LLP.