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Ohio Identity Theft Laws

In the age of email and social media, the crime of identity theft threatens most all of us. Identify theft is a crime in which the perpetrator "uses" another person's identity (most commonly the victim's Social Security number, birth date and other personally identifying information) to open fraudulent accounts.

Stealing someone's identity can be achieved by digging through their trash or by more high-tech methods. Ohio identity theft laws characterize the crime as a felony, punishable by one to 11 years in prison. The most serious charges are reserved for those who defraud elderly or disabled people, or active duty military service members through identity theft.

In addition to criminal charges and a possible civil lawsuit by the victim, you may also be required to pay restitution for any actual financial losses sustained by the victim.

The basic provisions of Ohio identity theft laws are listed in the table below. See FindLaw's Fraud and Financial Crimes section for more information about related crimes.

Code Section Ohio Revised Codes 2913.49
Classification of Crime/Penalties
  • 5th degree felony (6-12 months in prison, $2,500 fine) - For the most minor of offenses, including those in which there is no actual financial loss.
  • 4th degree felony (6-18 months in prison and $5,000 fine) - For identity fraud resulting in victim's suffering and financial loss of less than $7,500.
  • 3rd degree felony (9 months - 10 yrs in prison, $10,000 fine) - For fraud resulting in $7,500 to $150,000 in losses.
  • 2nd degree felony (2-8 yrs in prison, $15,000 fine) - For fraud resulting in more than $150,000 in losses (or if the victim is elderly or disabled, or an active duty service member, and lost between $7,500 and $150,000).
  • 1st degree felony (3-11 yrs in prison, $20,000 fine) - For fraud against an elderly or disabled person, or an active duty service member resulting in losses of more than $150,000.
Who May Prosecute Attorney General or district attorney in county where crime committed
Exemptions to Identity Theft Laws -
Civil Lawsuit Allowed? Yes
Civil Remedies Available -
Misc. Payment of restitution is required if victim suffered actual financial losses as a result of the crime.

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Ohio criminal defense attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Pennsylvania Identity Theft Laws: Related Resources

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