Identity theft comes in many forms under the law. As technology has become more sophisticated, the number of ways to “steal” someone’s identity and use it for fraudulent or other illegal activity has increased.
One form of identity theft is known as “false personation.” Oklahoma law states that someone who “falsely personates another, and in such assumed character receives any money or property, that knowing it is intended to be delivered to the individual so personated, with intent to convert the same to his own use, or to that of another person who is not entitled thereto” has committed false personation.
Potential penalties vary based on the value of the assets involved
The penalty for this offense depends on the amount of money or value of the property or other assets involved. For example, if that value is under $1,000, it’s a misdemeanor. A person who’s convicted can still face prison time and a fine.
If the amount is $1,000 or more, it’s a felony offense. The severity of the consequences increases based on the dollar value. Potential prison time can be as long as eight years if it’s $15,000 or above and as much as a $10,000 fine.
Elements of false personation
The state’s jury instructions explain the elements of the offense that prosecutors must prove to convict a person of false personation. These include falsely and intentionally assuming someone else’s identity in a “written instrument,” presenting it as accurate or “true” and receiving assets or other benefits as a result of that impersonation.
If someone assumes another person’s identity and makes that person liable (for example, purchasing something with that person’s credit card information), that’s also an example of false personation. Another example of this kind of false personation would be if someone commits a crime using another person’s identity, leaving them subject to prosecution.
If you find yourself facing charges for this crime, it’s important to understand the law. Having experienced legal guidance can help you protect your rights and determine the best course of action based on your individual case.