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What are the penalties for identity theft in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania state law defines identity theft as the possession or use of another person’s identifying information for an unlawful purpose without his or her consent.  This white collar crime is considered a serious offense in the state, and thus, carries severe consequences. At the law firm of Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C., we are often asked about identity theft charges. As such, we will discuss the grades of this offense, as well as the potential penalties you could face if convicted.

The potential penalties you could face if convicted of identity theft in Pennsylvania vary based on the value of the property or services you allegedly obtained using someone else’s identifying information. With few exceptions, state law stipulates that you be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor if the total value of the property or services involved in this white collar crime is under $2,000. You could be fined up to $10,000 and be sentenced to serve as many as five years in prison, if convicted of this offense. The age of the alleged victim may also impact the grade of the offense you could be charged with. Under state law, the offense will be graded one higher than the generally specified offense in cases when the alleged victim is over 60-years-old or under 18-years-old.

When the total value of the involved property exceeds $2,000, the charges you could face may be enhanced. In these cases, you may be charged with a third-degree felony. Under Pennsylvania state law, if the alleged identity theft is related to a criminal conspiracy, you could also face a third-degree felony charge. A conviction on this charge could carry up to a $15,000 fine and a prison sentence of up to seven years. If this is your third, or subsequent, identity theft offense, then you will be charged with a second-degree felony offense. The potential penalties for this charge include a fine of up to $25,000, as well as a prison sentence of up to 10 years.

For more information about identity theft, please visit our white collar crimes page.

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Gregory R. Gifford
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