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Virginia Identity Theft Laws

Identity theft is a serious crime that involves stealing someone's identity (Social Security number, birthdate, etc.) with the intent to harm or defraud that person. Typically, identity thieves use others individuals’ identities to open credit card accounts and commit crimes incognito.

In Virginia, the penalties for identity theft, as well as how the crime is classified (i.e. misdemeanor or felony), generally depend on how much money the defendant has stolen. Under Viginia's identity theft law, a first offense and/or an offense that involves a loss of up to $200, are charged as class 1 misdemeanors. Second offenses and those resulting in more than $200 worth of losses are charged as felonies.

Virginia identity theft law is summarized in the following table. See FindLaw's Fraud and Financial Crimes section to learn about related matters.

Code Section

Va. Code Ann. §18.2-186.3 (Michie 2001)

Classification of Crime/Penalties

Loss up to $200: class 1 misdemeanor; second violation or loss of more than $200: class 6 felony; if violation results in arrest and detention of person whose identification documents or information were used to avoid summons, arrest, prosecution, or to impede a criminal investigation: class 6 felony In addition to other punishment, court shall order perpetrator to make restitution to victim as the court deems appropriate, including victim's expenses in correcting credit report or other records

Who May Prosecute

Any prosecuting authority

Exemptions to Identity Theft Laws


Civil Lawsuit Allowed?


Civil Remedies Available



Attorney General may assist victim to obtain information necessary to correct victim's credit report or other records, if such assistance is requested

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

More Information

For more information on Virginia’s identity theft laws, click on the links to related resources provided below. You can also learn more about this area of crime, in general, by browsing FindLaw’s section that discusses fraud and financial crimes. Finally, if you need more individualized assistance, or are facing charges for an identity theft-related crime, you might want to contact a Virginia attorney specializing in white collar crime defense.

Research the Law

Virginia Identity Theft Laws: Related Resources

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