District of Columbia Identity Theft Laws

Identity theft involves the use of another individual's personal identifying information (such as a Social Security number) to commit fraud under that person's name. The victims of identity theft often must spend many hours clearing their name and correcting account statements opened in their name. State identity theft laws establish regulations for businesses, as well as providing sentencing guidelines for violators.

Washington, D.C. Identity Theft Law at a Glance

The following chart provides details about identity theft law in Washington, D.C. See FindLaw's Identity Theft section to learn how to protect yourself and what to do once you're identity has been stolen.

Code Section §22–3227.02
Prohibited Acts

A person commits the offense of identity theft if that person knowingly:

(1) Uses personal identifying information belonging to or pertaining to another person to obtain, or attempt to obtain, property fraudulently and without that person's consent;

(2) Obtains, creates, or possesses personal identifying information belonging to or pertaining to another person with the intent to:

  • Use the information to obtain, or attempt to obtain, property fraudulently and without that person's consent; or
  • Give, sell, transmit, or transfer the information to a third person to facilitate the use of the information by that third person to obtain, or attempt to obtain, property fraudulently and without that person's consent; or

(3) Uses personal identifying information belonging to or pertaining to another person, without that person's consent, to:

  • Identify himself or herself at the time of his or her arrest;
  • Facilitate or conceal his or her commission of a crime; or
  • Avoid detection, apprehension, or prosecution for a crime.
Classification of Crime/Penalties

Identity theft in the first degree: Fine of not more than (1) $10,000, (2) twice the value of the property obtained or (3) twice the amount of the financial injury, whichever is greatest, or imprisoned for not more than 10 years, or both, if the amount of the financial injury is $25,000 or more.

Identity theft in the second degree: Fine of not more than $1,000 or imprisoned for not more than 180 days, or both, if the amount of the financial injury has some value, or if another person is falsely accused of, or arrested for, committing a crime because of the use, without permission, of that person's personal identifying information.

Enhanced penalty: Any person who commits the offense against an individual who is 65 years of age or older at the time of the offense may be punished by a fine of up to 1 1 / 2 times the maximum fine otherwise authorized for the offense and may be imprisoned for a term of up to 1 1 / 2 times the maximum term of imprisonment otherwise authorized for the offense, or both.

Civil Lawsuit Allowed? -
Civil Remedies Available When a person is convicted of identity theft, the court may, in addition to any other applicable penalty, order restitution for the full amount of financial injury.
Misc. -

Note: State laws may change at any time through the decisions of higher courts, enactment of new legislation, and other means. You may want to contact a District of Columbia consumer protection law attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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