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Does an identity theft have to be aimed at financial gain to be illegal?

Serious charges can result from being accused of committing identity theft here in Wisconsin. One of the main types of identity-theft-related offenses in the state is unauthorized use of the personal identifying documents/information of an individual. A charge of this offense is a Class H felony charge. If convicted of a charge of this felony class, a person generally can be given a prison sentence of up to six years, a fine of up to $10,000 or both.

There are various requirements a given action has to meet in order to constitute an unauthorized use of the personal identifying documents/information of an individual offense. One is that the action must have been aimed at least one of the purposes contained on a list of purposes in the statute on this offense.

When one thinks of purposes of identity theft, one of the main purposes that may come to mind is financial gain. Financial gain is one of the purposes on the above-mentioned list. However, it is not the only one. Other purposes on the list include causing harm to the victims' estate, person, property or reputation and avoiding criminal/civil processes or penalties. Thus, an alleged identity theft does not necessarily have to have involved an intent for financial gain for a person to face criminal charges here in Wisconsin for it.

Experienced white collar crime defense attorneys can help individuals who have had identity theft allegations brought against them in the state understand what sort of things could impact their overall legal situation and what steps it can be important to take in response to such allegations.

Sources: Wisconsin State Legislature, "Wisconsin Statutes - 943.201 Unauthorized use of an individual's personal identifying information or documents.," Accessed Jan. 11, 2016

Wisconsin State Legislature, "Wisconsin Statutes - 939.50 Classification of felonies.," Accessed Jan. 11, 2016

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