Identity Fraud (Utah Code 76-6-1102) occurs when one person uses another’s identifying information for financial gain. Utah laws make Identity Fraud a third degree felony if the loss is over $1,000; Punishable by up to 15 years in prison and $10,000 in fines, along with restitution paid to the victim(s). If the losses are over $5,000, then the crime is considered a second degree felony, and multiple offenses will most likely be aggregated into one charge against you.
Victims of Identity Fraud may also have the ability to file a personal injury lawsuit against identity thieves.
You might be starting to see how quickly an Identity Fraud charge can become a massive headache, even multiple charges, thousands of dollars in fines and years of jail time.
You cannot assert a defense to an Identity Fraud charge by simply pleading ignorance. However, other defenses may be available to the defendant depending on the circumstances. It is always best to consult a criminal lawyer when charged with Identity Fraud.
Alongside Identity Fraud, Forgery is broadly defined under the Utah criminal code to include making, altering, signing, issuing, transferring, or a variety of other acts involving a written document.
Most of the time, the more significant elements of a Forgery charge are that the person committing the act had intended to defraud, the person did something with or to a document that purported to be the act of another person, and did not have the authorization of that other person.