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How serious of a crime is identity theft in California?


Often, those accused of certain white collar crimes in the state of California have a poor understanding of what a conviction could mean. When the charges involve forgery or embezzlement, defendants may realize they are in serious trouble. Identity theft charges, on the other hand, seem minor to most defendants.

Each American state has laws regarding how the authorities respond to white collar crimes centered on identity theft. It is wise for defendants to learn about these laws upon arrest, even if they have an experienced legal team fighting to defend them. The sections below provide valuable information about many elements associated with identity theft in California.

Examples of illegal information belonging to another

You could get into trouble for having any of the following that doesn’t belong to you in your possession:

  • Social security numbers
  • Driver’s license numbers
  • Names, phone numbers and addresses
  • Credit card numbers
  • Banking account information
  • Personal identification numbers (PINs)

California also prohibits the use of biometric information like fingerprints, retina scans and voiceprints by those not entitled to do so.

Possible penalties upon conviction of identity theft

  • Up to one year of jail time
  • An expensive fine
  • Both a fine and a jail sentence

If you already have a criminal background, you may expect harsher consequences upon conviction than those listed above. Further, if the alleged identity theft resulted in the creation of a criminal record for the victim, your charges will likely be more serious. For example, if you are arrested for robbery and you provide the police with someone else’s identification, your legal situation will worsen.

You can significantly improve your odds of a successful outcome in your criminal case by placing your trust in an attorney who is as dedicated as he or she is experienced. If you’ve made a mistake, find out what an attorney can do to help.

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