Under Iowa law, a person commits the crime of Identity Theft if they fraudulently uses or attempts to fraudulently use identification information of another person, with the intent to obtain credit, property, services, or other benefit. Iowa Code Section 715A.8.
In identity theft cases in Iowa, if the value of the credit, property, or services exceeds one thousand dollars, the person commits a class “D” felony. The maximum penalty for a class D felony in Iowa is a prison term of 5 years. If the value of the credit, property, or services does not exceed one thousand dollars, the person commits an aggravated misdemeanor, for which the Iowa District Court may impose a term of 2 years in prison.
Iowa law, under Iowa Code Section 715A.9, provides that when it comes to determining the value of the property at issue in an identity theft case, and therefore the seriousness of the charge, the value of property or services is its highest value by any reasonable standard at the time the identity theft is committed. Any reasonable standard includes but is not limited to market value within the community, actual value, or replacement value. This standard makes it easier for prosecutors to charge the more serious D felony version of identity theft in Iowa.
Property that is obtained through identity theft in Iowa is subject to seizure and forfeiture, and a person who has suffered harm due to identity theft is able to make a clam against that property for their loss, as well as their attorney fees.
In addition to the possible criminal penalties, an identity theft conviction in Iowa can cause a person who is not a US citizen to be deported or to be denied the ability to immigrate or become a citizen. For that reason, each person charged with identity theft in Iowa is well advised to seek an attorney and properly handle the case from start to finish.