Identity Theft Penalties in Illinois

St. Charles Defense Lawyer

With the advent of new technologies and our increased reliance on them, it is easier than ever for someone to get their hands on all kinds of personal information. Once an individual has access to a person’s name, address, phone number, social security number, or tax ID number, they can gain access to many personal records. 

Identity theft is not uncommon in the United States. In 2016, there were nearly 26 million victims of identity theft in the U.S, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Being charged with identity theft is a serious charge and can mean severe consequences if you are convicted.

What is Identity Theft?

The Illinois Criminal Code of 2012 contains a very broad definition of identity theft that applies to a variety of circumstances. According to Illinois law, identity theft occurs if you:

  • Use someone else’s personal information to fraudulently obtain credit, money, goods or services;
  • Use someone’s information with the intent of committing a felony other than those listed above;
  • Obtain, record, possess, sell, transfer, purchase, or manufacture someone else’s personal information with the intent of committing a felony;
  • Use, obtain, record, possess, sell, transfer or purchase someone else’s personal information, knowing such information was stolen;
  • Use, transfer, or possess document-making equipment to produce false identification, knowing they will be used to commit a felony; or
  • Use someone else’s personal identification documents to portray yourself as that person with the purpose of gaining access to that person’s information.

You can also be charged with aggravated identity theft, which occurs when you commit any of the above actions and:

  • The person whose identity you are stealing has a disability or is over the age of 60; or
  • You are committing identity theft to further the activities of an organized gang.

Consequences for Identity Theft

Identity theft is punished similarly to normal theft. The consequences increase as the amount of money in question increases. If you are charged with identity theft, you could be looking at anywhere from a Class 4 felony charge to a Class X felony. This means you could potentially face one to 30 years in prison and fines of up to $25,000.

A Naperville Identity Theft Defense Attorney Can Help

Using someone else’s name and personal information is a serious criminal charge. Depending on your circumstances, you could face jail time and expensive fines. At Law Office of Glenn M. Sowa, LLC, we know identity theft cases are often complex and require a seasoned defense attorney. Our Illinois identity theft defense lawyers can help protect your rights and your future. Contact our office at 630-232-1780 to schedule a free consultation.