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Looking at the penalties for identity theft

In the internet age, people are charged with a variety of online crimes, from cyber bullying to copyright violations. However, identity theft charges have become increasingly common in Connecticut and across the nation. As a result, it is important for those facing identity theft charges to understand the possible penalties of a conviction and closely examine all of their options. Sometimes, the anonymity provided by modern technology leads to false allegations and wrongful convictions. Unfortunately, those charged with identity theft may face serious consequences such as prison time, a damaged reputation and costly fines.

According to the United States Sentencing Commission, identity theft cases account for a small portion of federal crime cases. However, the number of people charged with this offense has increased significantly in recent years. In 2006, only .02 percent of the federal prison population was convicted of aggravated identity theft, compared to .09 percent in 2010.

The Connecticut General Assembly provides an informative overview of the penalties for identity theft. In the state, those convicted of third-degree identity theft may face up to five years behind bars and a $2,000 fine. Those convicted of second-degree identity theft could spend up to 10 years in prison and face a $10,000 fine, while first-degree identity theft carries a penalty of as many as 20 years behind bars and a $15,000 fine. On top of fines and prison time, identity theft charges may also cause someone to lose their job or suffer irreversible damage to their reputation, which highlights the importance of properly handling these types of cases.

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