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When Can a Person Be Charged With Identity Theft in Wisconsin?

 Posted on March 24, 2023 in Identity Theft

Waukesha County Identity Theft Defense Attorneys

Identity theft is a very serious crime in the state of Wisconsin. It involves a person using someone else's personal information to gain access to financial accounts, take out loans, or purchase items without permission. People who are accused of identity theft can face severe penalties if they are found guilty in a court of law. However, not every case of alleged identity theft is the same, and it is important to understand the different scenarios in which a person can be charged with this crime.

Offenses Related to Identity Theft in Wisconsin

Identity theft is a broad term that encompasses a variety of offenses. These include:

  • Unauthorized use of an individual's personal identifying information - There are multiple different types of ID numbers and records that a person may use to verify their identity or engage in financial transactions. These may include their name, address, phone number, driver's license number, Social Security number, employment records, taxpayer identification number, bank account numbers, biometric data such as fingerprints or a DNA profile, and even verifying information such as their mother's maiden name. Possessing, using, or transferring personal identifying information without the person's permission is a criminal offense if it is done for monetary gain or with the intent to cause harm to the person. This offense is a Class H felony.

  • Unauthorized use of the identifying information of a business or other entity - Similar to personal identifying information, multiple types of information may be used by a business to conduct transactions or engage in other activities. This includes the name, address, and phone number of a business, employer identification numbers, bank account numbers, or other unique data. Possessing or using this information with the purpose of gaining something of value or harming a business's reputation is a Class H felony.

  • Credit card theft or fraud - In many cases, identity theft will involve the illegal use of someone else's credit cards. Acquiring a credit card or credit card number without the cardholder's consent, selling a person's credit card information to someone else, maintaining control over someone else's credit card account, or using someone's credit card to make purchases can result in criminal charges. This offense is generally charged as a Class A misdemeanor. However, knowingly receiving a credit card in someone else's name that was obtained illegally may result in Class I felony charges.

  • Fraud against a financial institution - A person who commits identity theft may impersonate a bank or other financial institution with the intent of obtaining someone's personal identifying information. This may include sending emails or text messages that appear to come from a bank or credit card company to convince a person to reveal information such as a bank account number or Social Security number. This offense is a class H felony.

Contact Our Waukesha County Identity Theft Defense Attorneys

Identity theft is a serious offense that can lead to severe legal penalties in Wisconsin. Being charged with identity theft can significantly affect your life, and you may face reputation damage, monetary losses, or even jail time. If you are facing allegations of identity theft, it is crucial to seek the guidance of a criminal defense lawyer who can represent your interests in legal proceedings. At Bucher, Wolff & Sonderhouse, LLP, our Oconomowoc identity theft defense lawyers can provide the legal help you need as you defend against criminal charges. Contact us at 262-232-6699 to arrange a free consultation.


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