Using someone else’s information in order to obtain a benefit is a crime in every state, including Oregon. Oregon has two primary laws that criminalize different identity theft behaviors.
Read Identity Theft Law if you’d like to know more information about these types of laws.
Anyone in Oregon who possesses, obtains, creates, transfers, or otherwise uses another person’s personal identifying information with the intent to deceive or defraud commits the crime of identity theft.
However, using personal identification to represent your age in order to buy alcohol if you are under 21, or to buy tobacco if you are under 18, is not considered identity theft. It’s also not identity theft if you use another person’s identification information to misrepresent your age in order to gain access to an age-restricted location, such as a bar; or to obtain a benefit that is based on age, such as entering a contest that requires contestants to be at least 18.
Identity theft is a Class C felony offense in Oregon.
(Oregon Revised Statutes Annotated section 165.800)
Personal identification information is anything that can be used to identify an individual. It includes, but is not limited to, a person’s name or address, Social Security number, mother’s maiden name, photograph, date of birth, or e-mail address.
Aggravated Identity Theft
Oregon also has a law that punishes some instances of identity theft as aggravated crimes. Aggravated identity theft is more serious than regular identity theft and is punished as a Class B felony. A person commits aggravated identity theft when he or she commits identity theft:
- 10 or more times within a 180-day period
- after having been previously convicted of aggravated identity theft
- that results in $10,000 or more in transactions within a 180-day period, or
- possesses 10 or more pieces of personal identifying information from 10 or more people.
Identity theft is a felony crime in Oregon, and anyone convicted faces significant potential penalties. The particular sentence any court will impose depends upon the circumstances of each case and the specific crimes charged.
- Incarceration. If you are convicted of identity theft in Oregon you face up to five years' imprisonment. Someone convicted of aggravated felony theft faces up to 10 years in prison.
- Fines. A person convicted of identity theft faces a fine of up to $125,000, while someone convicted of aggravated identity theft faces up to $250,000 in fines.
- Probation. You could also have to serve a probation sentence if you are convicted of identity theft in Oregon. While on probation you will have to comply with strict limits on your freedoms, known as probation conditions. These include random drug testing, community service, regularly reporting to a probation officer, finding or maintaining employment, and not committing other crimes.
- Restitution. When someone commits an identity theft crime that results in a victim suffering a financial loss, the court can also order restitution. The amount of restitution a court orders will differ from case to case depending on how much the victim(s) lost.
Speak to an Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyer
It is in your best interests to seek the advice of an experienced Oregon attorney as soon as you are charged with, or learn you are being investigated for, any identity theft crime. Only an attorney who has experience in local criminal courts can give you advice about your situation. You shouldn’t make any decisions about your case or speak to investigators until you have received legal advice from an area attorney.