Alabama’s Criminal Laws — Identity Theft and Trafficking in Stolen Identities
Identity theft often isn’t as simple as one person stealing another person’s social security number and using it to apply for credit cards. There are several different ways by which someone may be charged with identity theft. If you or someone you care about has been charged with identity theft or trafficking in stolen identities, you should call an attorney and get legal advice about the case before making any decisions about what to do next.
At Skier & Associates we are available and willing to discuss your case with you, offer legal advice based on years of experience with criminal law, and discuss representing you in your case.
DEFINITIONS – Code of Alabama Section 13A-8-191
For the crime of identity theft certain words have specific meanings in the Alabama Code.
Identification documents includes any “papers, cards, or other documents issued by federal, state, or local governmental authorities that are used specifically to identify a person. Identification documents include, but are not limited to, driver’s licenses, military identification cards, passports, birth certificates, Social Security cards, and other government-issued identification cards.”
Identifying information includes any “information, used either alone or in conjunction with other information, that specifically identifies a person or a person’s property, and includes, but is not limited to, any of the following information related to a person: name, date of birth, Social Security number, driver’s license number, financial services account numbers, including checking and savings accounts, credit or debit card numbers, personal identification numbers (PIN), electronic identification codes, automated or electronic signatures, biometric data, fingerprints, passwords, parent’s legal surname prior to marriage, and any other numbers or information that can be used to access a person’s financial resources, obtain identification, act as identification, or obtain goods or services.
A victim is any person whose identification documents or identifying information are used to perpetrate a crime created by this section of the Alabama Code.
IDENTITY THEFT – Code of Alabama Section 13A-8-192
Someone commits the crime of identity theft if, “without the authorization, consent, or permission of the victim, and with the intent to defraud for his or her own benefit or the benefit of a third person, he or she does any of the following: obtains, records, or accesses identifying information that would assist in accessing financial resources, obtaining identification documents, or obtaining benefits of the victim; obtains goods or services through the use of identifying information of the victim; obtains identification documents in the victim’s name; or obtains employment through the use of identifying information of the victim.”
Identity theft is a Class B felony and the possible sentence is 2-20 years.
Something important to know about identity theft is that there is an exception under this section of the Alabama Code when a person obtains the identity of another person to “misrepresent his or her age for the sole purpose of obtaining alcoholic beverages, tobacco, or another privilege denied to minors.” Teenagers using fake IDs to purchase alcohol or cigarettes are charged under a different statute.
TRAFFICKING IN STOLEN IDENTITIES – Code of Alabama Section 13A-8-193
Someone commits the crime of trafficking in stolen identities when, “without the authorization, consent, or permission of the victim, he or she manufactures, sells, transfers, purchases, or possesses, with intent to manufacture, sell, transfer, or purchase, identification documents or identifying information for the purpose of committing identity theft.”
Also, it is important to know that possession of “five or more identification documents of the same person, or possession of identifying information of five or more separate persons, without the authorization, consent, or permission of the person or persons, shall create an inference that the identities are possessed with intent to manufacture, sell, transfer, or purchase identification documents or identifying information for the purpose of committing identity theft.”
Trafficking in stolen identities is a Class B felony and the possible sentence is 2-20 years.
This blog about identity theft and trafficking in stolen identities is only here to introduce you to the current law in Alabama. This blog is not a substitute for getting advice from an experienced lawyer who works with these laws on a daily basis and has dealt with criminal cases before. Email Skier & Associates at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (334) 263-4105.