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Identity Theft Charges In Las Vegas, Nevada

Identity theft is a serious offense – when someone unlawfully uses another person’s personal information to commit crimes, such as phishing or other cybercrimes. If found guilty of this crime, victims could be facing severe penalties for their actions. If you’re facing identity theft charges in Nevada, it is crucial to enlist the skills of a seasoned Las Vegas identity theft attorney. At the Spartacus Law Firm, our criminal defense team will work tirelessly on your defense and fight for your rights and freedom. Our highly experienced identity theft lawyer represents clients throughout all of Nevada’s state and federal courts. Reach out today to discuss your case without obligation during a confidential and 100% free consultation.

Identity Theft Definition In Nevada

In accordance with § 205.465 of the Nevada Revised Statutes, it is illegal in Nevada for any individual to own, sell or transfer documents and personal identifying information with false credentials. Additionally, identity theft entails illegally occupying a space or applying for a license under fraudulent circumstances. Identity theft is a serious crime that can be committed by possessing or helping to obtain someone else’s personal identifying information. Generally speaking, these documents or data points include names, dates of birth, and addresses – just to name a few examples. It is important for us all to take the necessary steps in protecting our identities from being stolen, such as:

  • Social Security Numbers 
  • Driver’s license numbers 
  • Credit card details
  • Bank account information 
  • Personal identification numbers (PINs)

According to Nevada law, depending on the circumstances of a case, identity theft might be charged as a felony. A person convicted of this offense could suffer severe penalties such as fines and prison time totaling up to $10,000 or more. In some cases though, these punishments are even harsher if:

  • The victim was an older or otherwise vulnerable person
  • There were five or more victims
  • The victim lost $3,000 or more due to the identity theft

Identity theft in Nevada is a severe offense that carries serious consequences, including up to 20 years of imprisonment and fines of as much as $100,000. In addition, those convicted may be compelled to pay restitution for any damages caused by their illegal behavior. That’s why it’s critical to work with an experienced Las Vegas identity theft lawyer to help build the best possible defense.

Types Of Identity Theft Charges In Nevada

Using Fake IDs (NRS 205.460 & NRS 205.465)

Here in Las Vegas, it is illegal to possess or sell any type of false identification designed to deceive other people. Five common examples of offenses related to fake IDs include:

1. It is unlawful for a person to possess, sell or transfer any document or personal identifying information for the purpose of establishing a false status, occupation, membership, license or identity for himself or herself or any other person.
 

2. Except as otherwise provided in subsection 3, a person who:

(a) Sells or transfers any such document or personal identifying information in violation of subsection 1; or
(b) Possesses any such document or personal identifying information in violation of subsection 1 to commit any of the crimes set forth in NRS 205.085 to 205.217, inclusive, 205.473 to 205.513, inclusive, or 205.610 to 205.810, inclusive,
is guilty of a category C felony and shall be punished as provided in NRS 193.130.
 

3. A person who violates subsection 2 by:

(a) Selling or transferring the personal identifying information of an older person or a vulnerable person;
(b) Selling or transferring the personal identifying information of five or more persons; or
(c) Causing another person to suffer a financial loss or injury of $3,000 or more as a result of the violation,
is guilty of a category B felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for a minimum term of not less than 1 year and a maximum term of not more than 20 years, and may be further punished by a fine of not more than $100,000.
 
4. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection and subsections 2 and 3, a person who possesses any such document or personal identifying information in violation of subsection 1 is guilty of a category E felony and shall be punished as provided in NRS 193.130. If a person possesses any such document or personal identifying information in violation of subsection 1 for the sole purpose of establishing false proof of age, including, without limitation, establishing false proof of age to game, purchase alcoholic beverages or purchase cigarettes or other tobacco products, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor.
 

5. Subsection 1 does not:

(a) Preclude the adoption by a city or county of an ordinance prohibiting the possession of any such document or personal identifying information; or
(b) Prohibit the possession or use of any such document or personal identifying information by officers of local police, sheriff and metropolitan police departments and by agents of the Investigation Division of the Department of Public Safety while engaged in undercover investigations related to the lawful discharge of their duties.
6. Proof of possession of the personal identifying information of five or more persons in a manner not set forth in NRS 205.4655 permits a rebuttable inference that the possessor intended to use such information in violation of this section.

The court will assume you had the purpose to commit ID theft if it is found that you have possession of the identifying information of five (or more) individuals. Fortunately, there is still a chance for your defense in court with an opportunity to refute this assumption.

Misusing Another Person’s Identifying Information (NRS 205.463)

It is a violation of state law to use someone else’s personal information to:

  • Harm the other person;
  • Gain access to confidential data without obtaining explicit permission;
  • Securing another individual’s confidential documents — like communications or transactions — without their permission is an illegal act; or
  • Commit any other crime – such as obtaining credit or anything of value in the other person’s name

NRS 205.463 strictly prohibits the use of another person’s identification to evade or postpone criminal prosecution. Furthermore, any personal data that is exclusive to an individual can be regarded as “identifying information”. Some typical illustrations include:

  1. Current or former name or mother’s maiden name,
  2. Driver’s license number or passport number,
  3. Social security number, Medicaid account number, or SNAP number,
  4. Bank or credit card number (and PINs),
  5. Date of birth,
  6. Biometric information (such as fingerprints, facial scan identifiers, voiceprint, retina image, and iris image),
  7. Electronic signature,
  8. Email, phone number, or passwords,
  9. Professional license number, and
  10. Utility account numbers1
1. Except as otherwise provided in subsections 2 and 3, a person who knowingly:
(a) Obtains any personal identifying information of another person; and
(b) With the intent to commit an unlawful act, uses the personal identifying information:
(1) To harm that other person;
(2) To represent or impersonate that other person to obtain access to any personal identifying information of that other person without the prior express consent of that other person;
(3) To obtain access to any nonpublic record of the actions taken, communications made or received by, or other activities or transactions of that other person without the prior express consent of that other person; or
(4) For any other unlawful purpose, including, without limitation, to obtain credit, a good, a service or anything of value in the name of that other person,
is guilty of a category B felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for a minimum term of not less than 1 year and a maximum term of not more than 20 years, and may be further punished by a fine of not more than $100,000.
2. Except as otherwise provided in subsection 3, a person who knowingly:
(a) Obtains any personal identifying information of another person; and
(b) Uses the personal identifying information to avoid or delay being prosecuted for an unlawful act,
is guilty of a category C felony and shall be punished as provided in NRS 193.130.
3. A person who violates:
(a) Subsection 1 or 2 by obtaining and using the personal identifying information of an older person or a vulnerable person;
(b) Subsection 1 or 2 by obtaining and using the personal identifying information of five or more persons;
(c) Subsection 1 or 2 by causing another person to suffer a financial loss or injury of $3,000 or more as a result of the violation; or
(d) Subsection 2 to avoid or delay being prosecuted for an unlawful act that is punishable as a category A felony or category B felony,
is guilty of a category B felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for a minimum term of not less than 3 years and a maximum term of not more than 20 years, and may be further punished by a fine of not more than $100,000.
4. In addition to any other penalty, the court shall order a person convicted of violating subsection 1 to pay restitution, including, without limitation, any attorney’s fees and costs incurred to:
(a) Repair the credit history or rating of the person whose personal identifying information the convicted person obtained and used in violation of subsection 1; and
(b) Satisfy a debt, lien or other obligation incurred by the person whose personal identifying information the convicted person obtained and used in violation of subsection 1.
5. Proof of possession of the personal identifying information of five or more persons in a manner not set forth in NRS 205.4655 permits a rebuttable inference that the possessor intended to use such information in violation of this section.

False Impersonation (NRS 205.450)

Impersonation fraud is an illegal act where someone deliberately pretends to be another individual for the purpose of deceiving others, either by:

  • Getting married;
  • Transacting a real estate deal;
  • Confessing to a criminal offense or civil judgment;
  • Acting as bail or surety in any legal proceeding; or
  • Engaging in any activity during a lawsuit or legal process that diminishes another’s monetary interests

Every person who shall falsely represent or personate another, and, in such assumed character, shall marry another, become bail or surety for any party, in any proceeding, civil or criminal, before any court or officer authorized to take such bail or surety, or confess any judgment, or acknowledge the execution of any conveyance of real property, or of any other instrument which, by law, may be recorded, or do any other act in the course of any suit, proceeding or prosecution, whereby the person so represented or personated may be made liable, in any event, to the payment of any debt, damages, cost or sum of money, or his or her right or interest may, in any manner be affected, is guilty of a category C felony and shall be punished as provided in NRS 193.130.

Penalties For Identity Theft In Las Vegas

According to NRS § 205.465, sentences for identity theft can range from mild punishment to more severe punishments depending on the specifics of each case. Working with a skilled Las Vegas identity theft attorney gives you the best chance to obtain the best possible outcome in your case. Some of the specific penalties for identity theft crimes include:

Possessing A Stolen Identity Or Identifying Document

Identity theft is a serious crime and can result in harsh punishments if convicted. According to NRS § 193.130, those who have stolen personal identification information or identities may be charged with category E felony offenses that come with minimum sentences of one year in state prison, as well as maximum penalties of four years behind bars. Fortunately, judges are able to suspend the sentence and offer probation instead depending on the circumstances.

Possessing A Stolen ID Or Document As False Proof Of Age

According to NRS § 193.150, if someone utilizes a stolen identity or personal information for the intention of gaming, buying alcohol, or purchasing tobacco products, they are subject to misdemeanor charges with possible sentences including jail time up to 6 months and/or fines up to $1000. In lieu of either scenario occurring community service may be ordered at the discretion of the court system.

Possessing A Stolen ID Or Document To Commit Forgery Or Fraud

If someone is found guilty of stealing and using an ID or identity to commit forgery or fraud, they will be charged with a Category C felony. As such, the convicted individual faces up to five years in prison, plus substantial fines of up to $10,000 – as mandated by law for this type of crime. The minimum sentence for these felonies must not be less than one year.

Selling Or Transferring A Stolen Identity Or Identifying Document

Individuals caught exchanging or transmitting a stolen identity to another face a Category C felony, potentially leading up to five years of imprisonment and fines of $10,000.

Selling Or Transferring The Identity Of An Older Or Vulnerable Person

The theft or transfer of someone’s identity, particularly an elderly person or a vulnerable individual, is classified as a category B felony. As for the consequences of this crime; you could be sentenced to anywhere from one year up to twenty years in prison and $100,000 fines if convicted.

Selling Or Transferring The Identity Of Five Or More Persons

Identity theft is a serious offense that carries stiff consequences. If an individual is found guilty of selling or transferring the stolen identities of five or more people, they can face up to 20 years in prison and pay $100,000 in fines as punishment for their category B felony conviction.

Causing An Identity Theft Victim A Loss Of $3,000 Or More

Individuals found guilty of identity theft that causes another person to experience financial loss or injury in excess of $3,000 will be prosecuted as a category B felony with severe penalties. Punishment may include up to 20 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $100,000 for identity theft.

Common Causes Of Identification-Related Crimes In Nevada

As identity theft and false ID possession are common criminal offenses nationwide, a Las Vegas identity theft lawyer is especially aware that these charges occur more frequently in Nevada, specifically in Las Vegas. People may unlawfully create or possess fake IDs to gain access to casinos, alcohol, or credit – resulting in an identification-related crime charge. Specifically, someone could be arrested for:

  • To gamble at a casino under a false name
  • To acquire debt without revealing their true identity
  • To commit credit card fraud
  • To purchase alcohol or engage in underage drinking
  • To gain access to a nightclub or casino with age limits
  • Gambling while underage in Las Vegas
  • Generate while using counterfeit identification
  • To access the personal information of someone else
  • To inflict harm upon the target of identity theft
  • To avoid persecution for a criminal act

No matter the reason you have been charged with an identity-related criminal offense, our Las Vegas identity theft attorney is here to support you. We can help explain the law, guarantee your rights and determine a path of action that is right for you.

Probable Cause In Identity Theft Cases

In a 42 U.S.C.S. § 1983 case in which a gambler appealed a district court’s Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) dismissal of his amended complaint, he unsuccessfully argued that an agent of the Nevada Gaming Control Board lacked probable cause to arrest him. When he made the arrest, the agent knew that the gambler: (1) admitted to gambling at various casinos under a different name, (2) admitted to using identification not issued by a government entity identifying him by that different name, and (3) possessed and had used a credit card issued in that different name; since the agent had probable cause to believe that the gambler had violated NRS 205.465—a class E felony under Nevada law—he had immediate legal authority, under NRS 171.124(1)(b) and 171.136(1), to place the gambler under arrest. Fayer v. Vaughn, 649 F.3d 1061, 2011 U.S. App. LEXIS 9103 (9th Cir. Nev.), cert. denied, 565 U.S. 1093, 132 S. Ct. 850, 181 L. Ed. 2d 550, 2011 U.S. LEXIS 8965 (U.S. 2011).

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Identity Theft A Federal Crime?

The Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act of 1998 was passed by the United States Congress in response to an alarming rise in identity theft nationwide. This law changed 18 U.S.C § 1028, making it a federal offense to knowingly aid another party or attempt identity theft oneself. Undoubtedly, this demonstrates that identity theft is regarded as a very serious crime that can be prosecuted at the federal level.

Normally, the meaning of identity theft is employed both at a state and federal level. Although most cases are processed in state criminal courts, the U.S. government handles extreme examples that include huge dollar amounts stolen or multiple identities being taken over national boundaries.

What Are The Defenses To Identity Theft Charges In Nevada?

At the Spartacus Law Firm, our Las Vegas identity theft attorney will mount a viable defense for you regardless of the charges brought against you. There are times when there may be valid reasons and defenses to fight identity theft charges, which could result in a reduction or even the dismissal of such accusations. Some common defenses for identity theft charges in Nevada include

  1. People are often falsely accused of crimes they didn’t commit. Perhaps an ex is accusing you of something in revenge for a bad breakup.
  2. By law, you possess the ability to acquire identification on behalf of another person – for instance, if you have a power of attorney over an elderly relative. As long as your intentions are in that individual’s best interest and not intended for any personal gain from them effectively using their information without permission, then it is completely permissible.
  3. Cybercrime is rampant, particularly with the prevalence of shared computers in homes and offices. If you reside or work somewhere where a computer was used to commit identity theft, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you were responsible for this illegal act–even if the system was accessed from your space.
  4. Have you ever discovered someone else’s wallet in your neighborhood? Most of us have. Imagine being pulled over by the police and having to explain why you were carrying another person’s information – with no intention of using it for any malicious purposes, just so that you could return it to its rightful owner. Intent must be present to charge someone with an identity theft crime.

What Is Considered Identity Theft In Nevada?

In order for an identity theft charge to be valid, one of the following must be true:

  • Impersonate someone;
  • Obtain nonpublic records;
  • Obtain credit;
  • Obtain goods, services, or other benefits in the name of another person; or
  • Any other unlawful use of the information may be identity theft

Personal identifying info can encompass a wide range of items, including:

  • The current or former name of a person;
  • Driver’s license number;
  • Social Security number;
  • Bank account numbers;
  • Date of birth;
  • Maiden name;
  • Fingerprints or other biometric information;
  • Passwords;
  • License number used in a person’s occupation; or
  • Other identifying information

Contact Our Las Vegas Identity Theft Attorney Today

Don’t hesitate to seek help from the experienced legal team at the Spartacus Law Firm if you have been arrested for identity theft. Remember, a mere arrest is not yet your conviction and with our legal counsel by your side, there’s still hope in defending yourself against these accusations. Schedule an initial no-cost consultation today with our Las Vegas identity theft attorney to learn more about how we can help you.