In Pennsylvania, it is illegal to take on the identity of another person and to use that information without the victim’s consent. It doesn’t matter how you get the other person’s information; if you have it and use it for any reason, then you can be charged with identity theft.
There are times when people end up accused of identity theft when they didn’t necessarily intend to commit a crime. For example, a friend who borrows another one’s credit card to make a purchase might have wanted to pay the other back before they noticed but got caught. A person might check out on Amazon without realizing that a past user was still logged in with a different credit card.
What are the penalties for committing identity theft in Pennsylvania?
If this is a first-offense charge and the amount spend under another person’s name is under $2,000, you could face up to five years in prison and fines of up to $10,000. If you committed an offense valued at over $2,000, then it will be considered to be a third-degree felony and lead to up to seven years in prison.
It also matters whose identity was stolen. If a victim was 60 or older or someone relying on care from a guardian, medical provider or other, then the offense is a grade higher automatically.
With such heavy penalties being possible, it’s important to protect yourself if you’re accused of stealing someone’s identity. How you react could greatly impact your future and your freedoms. Your attorney can help you create a strong defense and work to negotiate on your behalf.