Insofar as California law is concerned, there are two broad categories of identity theft. First, there is theft that involves a perpetrator illegally obtaining some form of another person's identification and using it to damage that person's reputation or for financial gain.
Essentially, this sort of identity theft involves the perpetrator actually standing in for the person whose ID was taken. An example of this sort of ID theft would be using someone's personal information to apply for a credit card, which is then used to purchase goods.
The other primary form of identity theft occurs when a person obtains and sells personal information that can be used to assume the identity of another person. The key factors in this form of ID theft are that the perpetrator passed on the information with the knowledge that it would be used for illegal purposes or if the perpetrator intended to commit fraud when transferring or selling the information.
There are many items listed by the California Penal Code that could be illegally obtained and used to execute identity theft crimes. These items include:
- Social security numbers
- Driver's license numbers
- Credit card numbers
- Taxpayer identification numbers
- Bank account numbers
These are just some of the pieces of information that can be used for identity theft. And if you are arrested for possessing such items, you could be facing serious consequences, including fines and jail time.
In such circumstances, it is critical that you have experienced legal representation. There are strategies that can be employed for your defense and a criminal defense attorney can act in an effort to help minimize or even eliminate your potential punishment.