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As the world becomes more reliant on information passing through mobile devices and grows more difficult to protect, there is an increasing concern about identity theft. For people in Virginia, it's important to understand the laws of the state for those who are facing charges for an alleged crime related to this. White collar crime charges like identity theft are frequently considered less serious than violent criminal acts, but they're taken very seriously and the penalties are often as, if not more, severe than other crimes.

If a person uses another's identity without permission or authorization and does so to defraud or use the information for his or her own benefit with a third person, he or she might be charged with identity theft. Examples of this are if the information is used to obtain or access identifying information that isn't available to the general public and it can be used to access financial resources or benefits for the other person; obtain goods, loans, services or credit; obtain documents; obtain information while impersonating an officer of the law or an official of the government.

The same laws are in place if the personal information is used for sale or distribution. In addition, if the identity of a person is used to avoid being arrested, prosecuted, receiving a summons, or to create an impediment in a criminal case, this will constitute identity theft. The identifying information will include the other person's name, birth date, Social Security number, driver's license number, credit card numbers, bank account numbers and other pieces of information that could be used for the above acts.

Given the increased number of incidences of identity theft and fraud leading to white collar charges and the accompanying penalties, those who have been arrested for allegations that they have committed this crime need to understand how to lodge a sound defense. When confronted by an investigation for these acts, the most important factor in the outcome is often experienced legal advice. For that, it is imperative to speak to a qualified legal professional.

Source: leg1.state.va.us, "Identity theft; penalty; restitution; victim assistance," accessed on Dec. 14, 2014

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