Being accused of identity theft is a serious charge to face. A conviction can result in significant criminal penalties, and often comes with other criminal charges as well. Preventing a charge of identity theft from becoming a conviction is crucial. Having a criminal defense attorney like William Beck at your side can be the best way to ensure a conviction doesn't happen.
Colorado Identity Theft Laws
In Colorado, identity theft happens in four circumstances:
- Knowingly using someone else's personal information, without their permission, with the intention of getting something valuable or making a payment,
- Knowingly having someone else's personal information, without their permission, with the intention of using it to get something valuable or letting someone else use it to get something valuable,
- Using someone else's personal information, without their permission, to intentionally defraud them by filling out an official form,
- Knowingly having or using someone else's personal information, without their permission, to intentionally get a document issued by the government.
There are two important issues of note regarding Colorado's identity theft law. First, it is illegal to have another's personal information without their permission, but it is perfectly fine if they are aware of what you are doing. For example, if a loved one is unable to fill out a bank form and they ask for your assistance, this would not constitute identity theft. Therefore, it is critical to prove the issue of permission in a charge of this nature. Secondly, Colorado's identity theft law requires that a person acts intentionally or knowingly. Therefore, to obtain a conviction for such a charge, state of mind must be properly demonstrated. These elements often present critical opportunities to defend against such charges.
Penalties for Identity Theft
Identity theft is a Class 4 felony in Colorado. This means that a conviction comes with a presumptive range of between two and six years in prison, and a fine of $2,000 - $500,000. This can grow to up to twelve years in jail if you have a prior conviction for identity theft in the past. Worse, having a serious conviction for identity theft on your criminal record can make it more difficult to get a job, an apartment, or get a loan.
Additionally, if you get charged with identity theft, there are often other charges, as well. These often include theft, fraud, or forgery. If convicted on several of these charges, the jail time and fines that you could face would grow.
Colorado Springs Criminal Defense Attorney William Beck
Any kind of criminal charge is a serious matter. A charge of identity theft, though, can take a skilled criminal defense attorney to beat. William Beck is a criminal defense attorney in Colorado Springs. Contact his law office online or call 719-301-5979 to get the vigorous defense you need.