Identity Theft

Identity theft is a serious theft crime that is considered a crime of dishonesty. Crimes of dishonesty have long-lasting impacts on people’s lives even after they have served their time and paid their fines. Identity theft occurs when someone uses another person’s personal information for financial gain. For example, theft of the following information may result in identity theft:

  • Someone’s name
  • Date of birth
  • Social security number
  • Driver’s license number

Identity theft generally occurs because someone wants to use another person’s credit to do one of the following:

  • Open a line of credit
  • Buy a car
  • Conduct business they are not legally allowed to conduct
  • Commit bank fraud by using counterfeit checks or other false documents, apply for loans, or conduct other financial transactions
  • Make withdrawals from the account of the person whose identity was stolen

Due to identity theft being a crime of dishonesty, even false allegations can lead to dire consequences because they can impact your ability to get loans, rent homes, buy cars, or even maintain a job.

Utah Identity Theft Attorney


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What Are The Penalties For Identity Theft?

Identity theft can result in either misdemeanor or felony charges, depending on how much the perpetrator allegedly stole from the accuser. As a result, an individual can be charged with the following:

  • Class A Misdemeanor – if the perpetrator stole less than $1,000, they can be sentenced to one year in jail and fined up to $2,500.
  • Third-Degree Felony – if the perpetrator stole more than $1,000 but less than $5,000, they can be sentenced to up to five years in prison and fined up to $5,000.
  • Second-Degree Felony – if the perpetrator stole more than $5,000, they can be charged with a second-degree felony, sentenced to up to 15 years in prison, and fined up to $10,000.

Multiple violations will result in aggravated identity theft charges and even more intense penalties. In addition to a prison sentence and fines, being convicted of identity theft will follow someone around for the rest of their lives. For example, someone convicted of identity theft may not work in certain occupations that require state licenses, such as an accountant or a lawyer. Therefore, to avoid the harsh penalties and impact that an identity theft charge can cause in someone’s life, it is recommended that an experienced attorney is contacted as soon as possible.


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What Are The Defenses To Identity Theft?

There are a variety of defenses that may be available to someone who is charged with identity theft, including but not limited to:

  • Mistaken identity
  • Lack of evidence
  • Lack of intent
  • Statute of limitations

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Statute of Limitations

A statute of limitations requires that prosecution begins within a specific time after the crime was allegedly committed. The case will likely be dismissed if the prosecution fails to begin within the required timeframe. In Utah, the statute of limitations for theft crimes depends on whether it is a felony or a misdemeanor.

For a felony, the statute of limitations is four years, meaning the prosecution must begin within four years of the incident date. However, if the theft is a misdemeanor, the statute of limitations is two years, meaning the prosecution must begin within two years of the incident date.


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Additional Resources

Attorney General Website – This website provides more information on crimes committed within Utah and new laws or regulations.

Utah Department of Commerce: Division of Consumer Protection – This website provides pertinent information on what to do if someone believes their identity was stolen in Utah.

IRS Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit – This form should be filled out and filed with the IRS once someone believes their identity has been stolen.


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Utah Identity Theft Lawyer | Salt Lake County, UT

Have you been accused of identity theft in the Salt Lake City area? Find experienced and aggressive legal representation with the skilled legal team at Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law. Criminal defense attorney Susanne Gustin and her team are passionate about what they do and treat every individual case as a priority. She will work hard to obtain a reduction or dismissal of charges.

Do not wait any longer. If you live in Salt Lake City, Midvale, Riverton, Taylorsville, Clearfield, Layton, or surrounding areas, call (801) 243-2814 to schedule an initial consultation with Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law today.


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