Identity theft is an all too common crime today, especially with vulnerable populations like older adults or adults with intellectual disabilities. Identity theft comes in many shapes and sizes, from someone stealing your driver’s license for something less heinous, like to buy cigarettes or go to a bar, to someone taking your bank card information to go on a shopping spree, ruining your good credit.
The following table details the main Kansas identity theft laws that you want to know.
|Code Section||Kansas Statutes Section 21-6107: Identity Theft and Identity Fraud|
|What is Prohibited?||Kansas prohibits two forms of identity stealing crimes, identity theft and identity fraud.
Identity theft is obtaining, possessing, transferring, using, buying, or selling any personal identifying information (name, birth date, address, phone number, ID numbers, Social Security number, e-signatures, passwords, financial access numbers, etc.) belonging to another person, with the intent to either:
Identity fraud is either:
|Penalty||Kansas uses a sentencing grid to determine penalties for crimes based on whether it’s a “person crime” where a person was a victim directly (like robbery or rape) or a drug offense and how many priors a defendant has.
Identity theft and identity fraud is a level 8 non-person, non-drug felony. The sentencing range is 7 to 23 months, based on prior convictions, and the defendants are likely to receive probation. In addition, a defendant can be required to pay up to a $100,000 fine.
However, if the identity theft resulted in more than $100,000 in monetary loss to the victim(s) then it’s a level 5 non-person felony. In this case, the sentence can be about 2.5 years to over 11 years and prison time is likely. A fine of up to $300,000 can be assessed.
|Who Prosecutes?||The local prosecutor, called either a County Attorney or District Attorney depending on your location.|
|Who Can Victims Contact?||If you’re a victim of identity theft or fraud, you should file a report at your local police department. You can also report the theft to the Kansas Attorney General at 1-800-432-2310. You also want to inform any financial institution right away so you don’t owe for unauthorized charges.|
|Defenses||Some of the basic defenses used in any criminal case could be relevant to an identity theft case, for example, innocence, not enough proof, insanity, etc.
However, the statute says it’s not a defense that the person didn’t know the personal identifying information belonged to another person or that the person it belonged to is dead.
The best way to protect yourself from identity theft is to take preventative steps before it can happen. Check out FindLaw’s Consumer Protection section for ideas on protecting yourself from all kinds of scams. If you need assistance asserting your consumer rights as a victim or are curious about ways to recover your losses, you may want to speak to a Kansas consumer protection attorney.
Note: State laws, including the ones in Kansas, change constantly. It’s important to verify these state criminal laws by conducting your own legal research or contacting an experienced Kansas criminal defense lawyer, especially if you’ve been accused of an identity theft-related crime.
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