In the State of Illinois, it is a crime for a person to use another person’s identification to obtain goods, services, cash, credit, or anything else of value. This law applies to identification of any kind, such as a driver’s license, state ID card, social security card/number, etc. Most often, individuals are charged with identity theft in Illinois after being accused of trying to get a credit card in someone else’s name, or using someone else’s a social security number to get a job.
Identity theft is a serious crime in Illinois. If the value of the cash, credit, goods, or services obtained using the false identity is under $300, then it is a Class 4 felony, meaning that the maximum penalty is 3 years in an Illinois state prison and a fine of up to $25,000.00. If the value is over $300 but under $2,000, then it is a Class 3 felony, making the maximum penalty 5 years in an Illinois state prison, and a fine of up to $25,000.00. In cases where the value is above $2,000 but under $10,000, the maximum penalty is up to 7 years in an Illinois state prison and a fine of up to $25,000.00. If the value is over $10,000, then the maximum penalty increases to 30 years in an Illinois state prison, and a fine of up to $25,000.00. Individuals who have been convicted of previous felonies may be eligible for an extended prison term, often called being “extendable,” meaning that they could face much more serious penalties than those discussed above.
A related crime in Illinois is called Facilitating Identity Theft. This crime is where a person who has lawfully received confidential identity information, such as a social security number, and disposes of the information in an improper manner. For example, if an employee of a bank were to place a customer’s financial records which include their name and social security number into a garbage can without first shredding the documents, that employee could be charged with Facilitating Identity Theft for making it easier for someone else to steal the bank customer’s identity.
Anyone who is facing an Identity Theft or Facilitating Identity Theft charge in Illinois is wise to retain an attorney at once. Having the right attorney in such a serious case can mean the difference between winning the case and spending many years in an Illinois state prison.