Identity Theft

Identity Theft – 530.5

Using another person’s identity for financial benefit, to escape criminal liability, or that victimizes another person by causing them to suffer a loss are all types of identity theft. In California, identity theft is a “wobbler”—a crime that can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. There’s also another layer to identity theft: it can be charged as a federal crime.

The type of crime, the amount of money involved, and the criminal history of the defendant will determine if the crime is a misdemeanor or felony. If convicted of a misdemeanor, the punishment is up to one year in jail and a maximum $1,000 fine. A felony conviction is punishable by up to three years in county jail and a maximum $10,000 fine. A federal conviction can lead to increased fines and up to 30 years in federal prison.