Identity theft has become a major issue in today’s world. So, you might not be surprised to hear that Texas has harsh laws against such theft.
Under Texas law, it is a felony offense to use, transfer, possess or obtain the identifying information of another person, without permission, with the intent to defraud or harm someone.
Now, what level of felony identity theft is in Texas varies. It primarily varies based on how many items of identifying information the offense involved. The more items involved, the more severe the felony level. Here is a list of the standard felony levels for identity theft in the state:
- State jail felony: Offenses involving less than five items
- Third-degree felony: Offenses involving at least five but less than 10 items
- Second-degree felony: Offenses involving at least 10 but less than 50 items
- First-degree felony: Offenses involving at least 50 items
Also, if an identity theft offense was against an elderly individual, the felony level of the offense goes up one severity level from what would normally be the case given how many items the offense involves (unless the offense is already at the first-degree felony level, in which case it stays there).
What felony level of identity theft a person is accused of matters greatly. For, while all felonies carry serious penalties, just how severe such penalties can get depends on the felony level. There are major differences in the prison sentence ranges of the different levels of identity theft. For example, the range for state jail felony identity theft is 180 days to two years, while the range for first degree felony identity theft is five to 99 years.
So, the potential consequences for people accused of identity theft in the state can get very severe. Given this, quality defense guidance can be a critical thing for a person to have when facing such accusations.