Virginia identity theft charges under Va. Code §18.2-186.3 criminalize the unauthorized use of another person’s identifying information with intent to defraud. The offense can be committed in 4 ways:
- obtaining or accessing the identifying information of another person for use in accessing financial resources, obtaining identification documents or obtaining benefits
- using personal identifying information of another person to obtain goods or services
- obtaining identification documents in someone else’s name, or
- obtaining or accessing identification information while impersonating a law enforcement officer or other official.
Virginia identity theft charges also punish the unauthorized use of another person’s identifying information with intent to sell or distribute the identifying information.
An offender can also be convicted of identity theft under Va. Code §18.2-186.3(B)(1) if he used identification documents or information of another person to avoid criminal process (summons, arrest, prosecution, criminal investigation).
Proof of Virginia Identity Theft Charges
To convict an offender of Virginia identity theft charges under Va. Code §18.2-186.3, the Commonwealth must prove that the offender:
- obtained identifying information
- of another person
- without authorization
- with intent to defraud/intent to sell or distribute the information
Identifying Information is defined in Va. Code §18.2-186.3(C) to include name, date of birth, social security number, driver’s license number, bank account number, credit card or debit card number, PIN numbers, electronic identification codes, electronic signatures, biometric data, fingerprints, passwords, or any other numbers or information that can be used to access a person’s finances, access identification, act as identification, or access money, credit, loans, goods or services.
Intent to Defraud: The offender must have acted with an intent to defraud. The fraud can either be for his use or the use of another person.
Penalty for Virginia Identity Theft Charges
Identity theft under Va. Code §18.2-186.3 is a Class 1 misdemeanor if the financial loss from the offense was less than $200. It is punished by up to 12 months in jail and a fine ip to $2500. If the financial loss resulting from the offense was more than$200, the offense is a Class 6 felony, punished with up to 5 years in prison. A second of subsequent offense is a Class 5 felony, punished with up to 10 years in prison. The court can also order the offender to pay restitution to the victim if convicted of identity theft.
If the offender obtains identifying information of five or more people in the same transaction or occurrence with the intent to sell or distribute, the offense is a Class 5 felony punished with up to 10 years in prison. If the offender obtained identifying information of more than 50 people in the same transaction, the offense is a Class 4 felony, punished with 2-10 years in prison and a fine up to $100,000.
Other Virginia Identity Theft Charges
There are a number of other Virginia identity theft charges, including impersonating police officers, using a false birth certificate, and publishing a person’s picture and identifying information with intent to harass. For more information on these and other Virginia identity theft charges, click here.