Recent identity theft statistics released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, claim that 9.91 million Americans were identity theft victims and have experienced losses totaling $52.6 billion. These statistics show that identity theft occurs much more often than the average person assumes.
Under Maryland’s laws, it is a crime to possess or obtain a person’s personal identifying information, including their name, address, social security number, bank account number, or credit card number, without the person’s permission in order to use the information to obtain credit or goods or services. It is considered identity theft or identity fraud. Identity theft is a serious offense with serious consequences if convicted.
Penalties for identity theft depend on the facts of the case, and the scope of the crime. For example, if the defendant, person accused of the crime, uses the stolen information to obtain goods, services, or credit worth $500 or more, the crime is a felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison, a fine of up to $25,000, or both.
Otherwise, the crime is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 18 months in jail, a fine of up to $5,000, or both. The court may also order the defendant to pay restitution for any costs incurred by the victim as a result of the crime, including the costs of clearing the victim’s credit history. (Md. Ann. [Crim.] Code § 8-301.)
If you have been charged with identity theft, you should speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney. It is of upmost importance that you clearly understand the charge(s) against you and possible penalties if convicted. It is equally important that you have the right representation. Call our office today and speak to a reputable defense attorney that can help you. Our priority is our clients needs and their interest.