Virginia Identity Theft Laws
Identity Theft is a kind of offense in which the criminal is guilty of stealing a person’s identity. This could refer to theft of birth date, personal documents or social security number of an individual. Identity theft often leads to harm being inflicted upon the victim. Sometimes, a person may also steal someone’s identity to defraud the victim. Identity thieves can open an account on your name and perform online or physical frauds incognito.
Signs of Identity Theft
There are several signs that notify that your identity might have been stolen. If you find debts that you have nothing to do with, then it means someone is using your account. You would also notice recharge and purchases that you have not done. If you notice this, talk to your bank and then report the issue.
In Virginia, identity theft is regarded as a felony and the person who commits it is a felon. The penalty for this dependant on the magnitude of damage that has been done to the victim. Identity theft is divided into two sectors.
Class 1: In this offense, the victim has suffered a loss of an amount close to $200.
Felony: In this offense, the victim has suffered a loss of over $200.
Forgery: This is also an offense under this law which means if a person forges signature illegal practices, he can be sent to jail for 10 years or fined up to $2500.
Virginia Identity Theft law is explained in detail under the section “Fraud and Financial Crimes.” There are also some related matters that have been mentioned in this section. In case there is a violation that leads to the arrest of the victim whose personal information was given for prosecution, a felony is imposed. According to this law, the guilty have the responsibility for restitution to the one he harmed. The guilty also has to pay back the expenses of the victim to rectify all the record such as credit cards.
Any authority who has the permission for prosecution can prosecute an identity thief. To learn more about these laws and your rights as a citizen, you can consult the official websites.
Period of Imprisonment
If the felon has conducted the serious offense of identity theft, he or she has to go to jail for a minimum period of two years. The court can either issue a fine of $2500 or imprisonment period of two years. Sometimes, both of them are given. In rare cases where terrorism is involved, the imprisonment period is up to 5 years. However, the court hardly ever issues the order for 5-year imprisonment.
Instructions for the Victim
Anyone who has been a victim of this theft should monitor his or her credit cards and other information. It is imperative that you must check your accounts every three months and after a year, make sure that you check annually. Always keep a lookout for any suspicious activity from your account to be on the safe side.