It’s scary how easy it is for a criminal to open a credit card in your name. By stealing your Social Security Number and birth date your credit can be ruined. When a person uses the identity of someone else it’s called identity theft.
A thief can get your personal and financial information by digging through your garbage for documents with your information or by high-tech hacking, whether a computer crime or a skimming device that steals your data when you swipe your card at the store. Identity theft is illegal in Maine.
Maine’s Misuse of Identification Statute
The following chart outlines the main identity theft criminal law in Maine.
|Code Sections||Maine Code Revised Title 17-A, Section 905-A: Misuse of Identification|
|What is Prohibited?||Maine prohibits the misuse of identification or knowingly doing any of the following:
|Penalties||Misuse of identification is a Class D crime that can be punished by less than one year in county jail and fined up to $2,000.
In addition, the defendant may be required to pay restitution, that is to pay back those he or she robbed through the identity theft crime for their losses.
|Defenses||All traditional defenses can be used in identity theft cases, from innocence to insanity. In addition, Maine’s law provides an affirmative defense that the person believed in good faith that he or she was authorized to present or use the card, number, or legal identification. For example, if your mom requests you use her card to pick up something from the store for her, you|
Getting Legal Help
If you’ve been charged with identity theft, you need to speak to a criminal defense lawyer or your public defender as quickly as possible.
If you’ve been the victim of identity theft, you should report the crime to the police and contact the Maine Attorney General Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-436-2131 to file a complaint and for more information.
Note: State laws are revised frequently. Please contact a knowledgeable attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify these state identity theft laws.
Research the Law
Contact a qualified attorney.