If you, or someone you care about, has been charged (or may be) with Identity Theft in King County, Skagit County, Snohomish County, or Whatcom County, call Ashbach Law Offices, LLC today at (360) 659-4950 for a free, no-pressure case evaluation. With a reputation in the legal community as aggressive, effective and successful criminal defense attorneys, we are here to help you through your difficult times.
RCW 9.35.020 states that no person may knowingly obtain, possess, use or transfer a means of identification or financial information of another person, living or dead, with the intent to commit, or to aid or abet, any crime. Each time a person uses a means of identification or financial information may be charged as its own separate crime. Additionally, if such financial information is used to obtain goods or services, a person using that information is also subject to theft or other possible criminal charges.
The identity theft statute does not apply to situations where one person uses another’s identification to misrepresent her or his age, such as minors using an older person’s ID for alcoholic purposes.
Identity Theft in the First Degree
If the total value of goods and/or services obtained by using another’s identification or financial information to commit, aid or abet a crime is over $1500, such action is punishable as a Class B Felony upon conviction.
Identity Theft in the Second Degree
If the total value of goods and/or services obtained by using another’s identification or financial information to commit, aid or abet a crime are less than $1500, the action is punishable as a Class C Felony upon conviction. However, when there is a series of offenses alleged that involve a single person’s identification, the total value of each offense can be aggregated to elevate several Second Degree offenses into a First Degree offense.
Under RCW 9.35.020:
- (1) No person may knowingly obtain, possess, use, or transfer a means of identification or financial information of another person, living or dead, with the intent to commit, or to aid or abet, any crime.
- (2) Violation of this section when the accused or an accomplice violates subsection (1) of this section and obtains credit, money, goods, services, or anything else of value in excess of one thousand five hundred dollars in value shall constitute identity theft in the first degree. Identity theft in the first degree is a class B felony punishable according to chapter 9A.20 RCW.
- (3) A person is guilty of identity theft in the second degree when he or she violates subsection (1) of this section under circumstances not amounting to identity theft in the first degree. Identity theft in the second degree is a class C felony punishable according to chapter 9A.20 RCW.
- (4) Each crime prosecuted under this section shall be punished separately under chapter 9.94A RCW, unless it is the same criminal conduct as any other crime, under RCW 9.94A.589.
- (5) Whenever any series of transactions involving a single person’s means of identification or financial information which constitute identity theft would, when considered separately, constitute identity theft in the second degree because of value, and the series of transactions are a part of a common scheme or plan, then the transactions may be aggregated in one count and the sum of the value of all of the transactions shall be the value considered in determining the degree of identity theft involved.
- (6) Every person who, in the commission of identity theft, shall commit any other crime may be punished therefor as well as for the identity theft, and may be prosecuted for each crime separately.
- (7) A person who violates this section is liable for civil damages of one thousand dollars or actual damages, whichever is greater, including costs to repair the victim’s credit record, and reasonable attorneys’ fees as determined by the court.
- (8) In a proceeding under this section, the crime will be considered to have been committed in any locality where the person whose means of identification or financial information was appropriated resides, or in which any part of the offense took place, regardless of whether the defendant was ever actually in that locality.
- (9) The provisions of this section do not apply to any person who obtains another person’s driver’s license or other form of identification for the sole purpose of misrepresenting his or her age.
- (10) In a proceeding under this section in which a person’s means of identification or financial information was used without that person’s authorization, and when there has been a conviction, the sentencing court may issue such orders as are necessary to correct a public record that contains false information resulting from a violation of this section.
Ashbach Law Offices, LLC, aggressively represents clients throughout the Washington I-5 corridor, covering Skagit, Snohomish, King and Whatcom Counties. Regular courts of practice include, but are not limited to, Anacortes, Arlington, Bellevue, Bellingham, Blaine, Burlington, Edmonds, Everett, Issaquah, Lynnwood, Marysville, Monroe, Mount Vernon, Mountlake Terrance, Redmond, Seattle, Sedro Woolley and Shoreline.