In these days of digital access, a person’s identifying information can be used in a variety of ways. One of those ways is for financial purposes. Some people might decide to use the personal identifying information of someone else to gain financially or for a variety of other reasons. This information can be a name, birth date, drivers’ license number, Social Security number or any other information. It is important for our Maryland readers to know some basic information about identity theft.
How is identity theft classified in the criminal justice system?
Identity theft can be either a misdemeanor or a felony. If the victim has a loss of less than $500, the crime is considered a misdemeanor. If the victim has a loss of $500 or more, it is a felony.
What are the penalties for identity theft in Maryland?
A person who is charged with a misdemeanor can face up to 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine. A person who is charged with a felony can face up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $25,000. In all cases, restitution might be ordered. This can include court costs, attorney fees, debts, judgments, liens, obligations and other costs associated with clearing the victim’s name.
Facing identity theft charges can have a profound effect on a person’s life. While the consequences for misdemeanor charges are considerably less than felony charges, it is imperative for all defendants to exercise their right to present a defense. Working with someone familiar with these laws can help you determine what to do.
Source: FindLaw, “Maryland Identity Theft Laws” Jan. 07, 2015