Northern Virginia Fraud Defense Attorney
Identity Theft and Identity Fraud can be a misdemeanor or felony offense in Fairfax County and Northern Virginia, as elsewhere in the Commonwealth of Virginia, depending on conduct alleged. The most serious identity fraud offenses are those charged under Va. Code 18.2-186.3. However, there are a number of other offenses that deal with the impersonation of another, including:
• Va. Code §18.2-186.3 - Identity fraud
• Va. Code §18.2-186.4 - Use of a person's identity with the intent to coerce, intimidate, or harass; penalty
• Va. Code §47.1-29 - Impersonating a notary public
• Va. Code §18.2-204.1 - Fraudulent Use of Birth Certificate
• Va. Code §18.2-204.2 - Manufacture, Sale, or Possession of Fictitious, Facsimile or Simulated Official License or Identification
Given the seriousness of these crimes, anyone charged with such an offense needs to consult with a lawyer that has not only previously handled such cases, but that has the judgment, skill, and reputation to obtain the best possible resolution of the matter.
Manikas Law LLC will ensure that the charges against you are fully investigated, all evidence is obtained, and all witnesses are interviewed. In these cases, witness testimony and facts are crucial. Our firm performs sound analysis of all evidence and possesses essential trial strategies to provide you with the best possible defense.
To discuss your case with Kyle G. Manikas, a former prosecutor and Fairfax County and Northern Virginia identity theft and fraud criminal defense attorney, or to schedule a free consultation, contact our law office at 703-873-7473 or 888-503-8075, or contact us by e-mail.
What Conduct is Covered by Identity Fraud Laws in Virginia?
The basic Virginia identity fraud code section, Va. Code 18.2-186.3, covers many forms of identity theft. This code section provides that it is illegal for any person (with fraudulent intent) to do any of the following acts (1) access identifying information which is not available to the general public, (2) obtain goods or services through the use of identifying information of such other person, (3) obtain identification documents in such other person's name, or (4) obtain, record, or access identifying information of another while impersonating a law-enforcement officer or an official of the government of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Va. Code 18.2-186.3 also covers situations where a person gives a false name or other identifying information (Social Security number, date of birth, etc.) to a law enforcement/police officer.
What is the Penalty for Identity Theft in Virginia?
The penalty for identity theft depends on the level of fraud. Any violation resulting in financial loss of $200 or more is punishable as a Class 6 felony. Class 6 felonies are punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $2,500 fine. Any violation resulting in a financial loss of less than $200 is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor. Class 1 misdemeanors are punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine. A second or subsequent conviction is punishable as a Class 6 felony regardless of the level of financial loss. In any case where 50 or more persons' identifying information has been obtained, recorded, or accessed, the crime is punishable as a Class 5 felony. Class 5 felonies are punishable by up to 10 years in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.
People often ask, "What is the average jail time a person receives for a conviction of identity theft or fraud?" However, as with other offenses, the answer is highly case specific and cannot be generalized. The answer in any given case will depend on the Virginia Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a person's prior criminal history, as well as a variety of other factors. A person with prior criminal convictions will receive more jail time than a person who has no prior criminal record. However, the Virginia Sentencing Guidelines are not mandatory guidelines. In other words, the judge is free to ignore the guidelines. If the crime is particularly egregious, the judge can impose additional jail time above and beyond what the guidelines recommend. Similarly, the judge can impose less jail time than the guideless recommend. Therefore, it is extremely important to have an experienced and respected defense attorney to defend and present your case.
Other Identity Fraud Crimes
• Fraudulent Use of Birth Certificate (§18.2-204.1) - It is unlawful for any person to obtain, possess, sell, or transfer the birth certificate of another for the purpose of establishing a false identity for himself or for another person. Further, it is illegal for any person to obtain, possess, sell, or transfer any document for the purpose of establishing a false status, occupation, membership, license or identity for himself or any other person. A violation of this statute is a Class 1 misdemeanor (with a maximum penalty of 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine). However, when the birth certificate or document is obtained, possessed, sold, or transferred with the intent to use such certificate or document to purchase a firearm, in which case a violation of this section shall be punishable as a the crime is a Class 6 felony (with a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison and a $2,500 fine).
• Manufacture, Sale, or Possession of Fictitious, Facsimile or Simulated Official License or Identification (§18.2-204.2) - It is illegal for any person to manufacture, advertise for sale, sell, or possess any fake, facsimile, or simulated: (1) driver's license, (2) United States Armed Forces identification card, (3) United States passport or foreign government visa, (4) Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles special identification card, (5) official identification issued by any other federal, state or foreign government agency, or (6) official university or college student identification card. Any person manufacturing, advertising for sale, selling or reproducing such card or facsimile shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor (with a maximum penalty of 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine). Any person possessing any such card or facsimile shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor (with a maximum penalty of 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine).
Contact An Fairfax County and Northern Virginia Attorney Experienced in Handling Identity Theft and Fraud Cases
If you have been arrested for any form of identity theft or fraud in Northern Virginia, contact a former prosecutor and experienced criminal defense lawyer at Manikas Law LLC. Kyle G. Manikas has substantial experience in handling identity theft and fraud cases.
To schedule a free consultation or to discuss your case by phone, contact our law office at 703-873-7473 or 888-503-8075, or contact us by e-mail.
For more general information about fraud offenses, review our Fraud and White Collar Crime page for additional information.