Alabama Identity Theft Laws

Every day, law-abiding citizens become victims of identity theft. Modern day identity thieves can ruin their victims’ credit, steal their hard-earned money, and make them scared of unexpected identity issues in the future. Alabama’s legislators have addressed this issue by enacting the Consumer Identity Protection Act in 2001.

The following table describes Alabama’s main identity theft laws.

Code Sections Alabama Code Title 13A: Criminal Code, Chapter 8: Offenses Involving Theft, Article 10: The Consumer Identity Protection Act
What is Prohibited? Alabama law prohibits any of the following:
  • Identity Theft – Obtaining any of the following without authorization of the victim and with the intent to defraud anyone:
    • Identifying information that could be used to access financial resources, get identification documents, or obtain other benefits
    • Goods or services using the victim’s identifying information
    • Identification documents in the victim’s name
    • A job through the use of the victim’s identification
  • Trafficking in Stolen Identities – Manufacturing, buying, or selling any identification documents or information, without the permission of the victim, for the purpose of committing identity theft.
    • Note that possessing five or more identification documents of one person or identifying information of five or more different people, without their permission, creates the presumption the identities are possessed in violation of this law.
  • Obstructing Justice Using a False Identity – Using identification documents or information of another person or a fictitious person to avoid arrest, prosecution, or to otherwise impede a criminal investigation.
Penalty Alabama criminal penalties depend on the felony classification, from A, at the highest, to C, at the lowest. The above crimes are subject to the following punishment:
  • Identity Theft is a Class B felony that can be punished by between 2 and 20 years in prison and up to a $30,000 fine.
  • Trafficking in stolen identities is also a Class B felony.
  • Obstructing Justice Using a False Identity is a Class C felony that can be penalized by 1-10 years in prison and not more than a $15,000 fine.

Offenders will also have to make restitution or pay back any victims for their financial losses, including the costs of correcting the victim’s credit reports or paid in proceedings to get rid of debts or liens that were caused by the theft.

Also, defendants will have to pay $25 per day for time spent in jail or prison.

Defenses The identity theft criminal statute doesn’t apply to minors who were just trying to get privileges denied to minors, namely, using another person’s ID to get into a bar or purchase cigarettes or alcohol.

Other defenses include innocence or lack of intent, such as when you thought you had permission from your family member to buy groceries using his or her debit card.
Help for Victims If you’ve been harmed by identity theft, you should immediately report the theft to your local police department or to the Attorney General’s office.

Civil Lawsuit
Alabama law permits civil lawsuits for harms caused by identity theft. The victim can recover either $5,000 or 3 times his or her actual losses, whichever is greater, as well as attorney fees and court costs. To sue the wrongdoer to get compensation for your losses, contact an Alabama consumer protection attorney.

Identification Reissuance
Additionally, your state, county, or municipal identification documents will be reissued at no charge, although a police report may be required to not be charged.
Getting Legal Help for Accused Perpetrators If you or a loved one are facing identity theft-related criminal charges, you should contact an experienced Alabama criminal defense attorney immediately.

Note: State laws change frequently, it’s best to conduct your own legal research to verify any laws you’re researching.

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