The Mississippi identity theft crime is found in Miss. Code 97-45-19.  It states that: (1) A person shall not obtain or attempt to obtain personal identity information of another person with the intent to unlawfully use that information for any of the following purposes without that person’s authorization:
(a) To obtain financial credit.
(b) To purchase or otherwise obtain or lease any real or personal property.
(c) To obtain employment.
(d) To obtain access to medical records or information contained in medical records.
(e) To commit any illegal act.

In most instances, Mississippi identity theft is a felony punishable from 2-15 years and a $10,000 fine.  But if the crime involves less than $250, it is a misdemeanor punishable six months in the county jail and a $1,000 fine.   Additionally, you can be charged with any other crime arising out of the i.d. theft, such as theft of property.  If convicted, you can even be made to pay the government’s costs in prosecuting the case, such as costs for investigation, software, and expert witnesses.

Personal identity information can include social security number, driver’s license number, employment information, and bank or other financial account numbers.  Identity theft can come in many forms, usually via computer or U.S. mail.   These cases often involve financial and electronic records, and there is usually a substantial paper trail.

If you’ve been charged with this crime, you need to review the evidence to see if the government can prove its case.  Are you the perpetrator or was it someone else?  What does the government have that will link the identity crime directly back to you?  Do they have video with your face, for instance from a bank teller window or ATM?  Does your name or other identifying information appear on any records?  Can the victim’s money be traced directly back to you?  A good Mississippi identity theft crimes lawyer will ask these questions and more to see if the government can prove its case.

If convicted of felony identity theft, it cannot be removed from your record.  The misdemeanor provision, however, can be.  Whatever your charge, you should talk to an experienced Mississippi identity crimes attorney to see what options you have for avoiding a permanent conviction.  Even with a felony charge you may be able to avoid conviction if you have a clean record, can pay restitution, and can complete probation.

Patrick Stegall is a Southaven identity theft crime lawyer.  If you’ve been charged with this offense, Mr. Stegall can investigate the evidence against you.  If you wish to keep the charge off your record and stay out of jail, he can help you with that also.  Please email him at or call him at (901) 205-9894.

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