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Potential penalties for identity theft in Ohio

| May 26, 2020 | Blog, Criminal Defense |

Identity theft occurs when a party uses another person’s identifying information to open accounts in the victim’s name. For instance, a perpetrator may take out a mortgage for a property in Ohio using information obtained digging through a trash can or by installing malicious software on a computer. Those who charged with committing identity theft in the state of Ohio can spend up to 11 years in prison if convicted.

The lengthiest prison sentences are typically reserved for those who defraud an elderly person or disabled person. Those who defraud a member of the military or cause losses of more than $150,000 are also more likely to be sentenced to multiple years in prison. However, if a victim incurs no financial loss, a defendant may spend as little as six months in jail. In addition to prison time, a defendant could be ordered to pay a fine and restitution to victims.

Restitution is typically equal to the actual damages that a victim incurs. Fines range from $2,500 for those convicted of fifth-degree identity theft to $20,000 for those convicted of first-degree felony theft. It is possible that those who are charged with committing this type of crime could be subject to a civil lawsuit. The results of a criminal case generally have no bearing on the possible outcome of a civil suit.

Those who are charged with identity theft or other crimes may experience a number of negative consequences such as jail time or a diminished reputation in the community. A criminal law professional might be able to help a person obtain a favorable outcome in his or her case. This may allow a defendant to avoid some or all legal consequences while also helping to restore his or her personal and professional reputation.