Attorney DeBruin represents clients from across lower Michigan.

DeBruin Law

Attorney DeBruin represents clients from across lower michigan.

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How serious are identity theft charges in Michigan?

On Behalf of | Feb 16, 2023 | Criminal Defense

Today, identity theft charges are more severe than ever in Michigan. The state’s Identity Theft Protection Act enforces strengthened legal protections against this crime, making identity theft a felony.

It establishes the following penalties for this crime, depending on how many subsequent offenses were committed:

  • A maximum of $25,000 worth of fines and/or five years of jail time for the first offense
  • A maximum of $50,000 worth of fines and/or ten years of jail time for the second offense
  • A maximum of $75,000 worth of fines and/or 15 years of jail time for the third offense

However, the charges and sanctions can vary depending on the case’s circumstances. Sometimes, the court can add criminal charges if the investigation finds incidents of forgery or fraud.

What information can be stolen?

Naturally, specific pieces of identification are more prone to theft than others. The law defines personal identifying information as details for accessing or facilitating private financial transactions or records.

In addition to a name, address and social security number, the following information can also serve this purpose:

  • ID numbers for health insurance or employment
  • Medical documents
  • Biometrics
  • Mother’s birth name

However, people may have access to these details lawfully. It becomes a crime when someone uses the information to impersonate and access private resources or documents.

Additional provisions

Identity theft laws also expand provisions when it comes to forfeiting property. Aside from the devices used to commit identity theft, the policy includes other assets, such as cars, planes, boats and money linked to the crime.

This provision can result in extensive financial losses on top of the imposed fines. Nevertheless, getting proper legal counsel can help mitigate losses from these charges.

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