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Colorado Identity Theft Law 18-5-902 – A Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer To Represent You

Are You Accused Of Stealing Someone’s Identity?

By Colorado Theft Crimes Defense Lawyer – Attorney H. Michael Steinberg

Colorado Identity Theft Law 18-5-902, – Have You Stolen Someone’s Identity? – This topic is of increasing importance in our increasingly digital information age.  The illegal use of another person’s identify must be done knowingly.  This requirement – that the person charged with this crime “know” he or she has taken another’s identity and used it unlawfully was addressed in the recent 2013 case of People v Perez.

Colorado Identity Theft Law 18-5-902

Colorado Identity Theft Law 18-5-902

Colorado Identity Theft Law 18-5-902, – Have You Stolen Someone’s Identity? – The Facts Of People v. Perez

Eduardo Perez was convicted of the Colorado crimes of identity theft and criminal impersonation for using the Social Security number of another person to obtain employment. He appealed and asserted that there was insufficient evidence to support his convictions – he won.

 

The Case Would Turn On Colorado’s Identity Theft Law

Colorado’s Identity Theft Law – 18-5-902 provides:

18-5-902. Identity theft

(1) A person commits identity theft if he or she:

(a) Knowingly uses the personal identifying information, financial identifying information, or financial device of another without permission or lawful authority with the intent to obtain cash, credit, property, services, or any other thing of value or to make a financial payment;

(OR)

(b) Knowingly possesses the personal identifying information, financial identifying information, or financial device of another without permission or lawful authority, with the intent to use or to aid or permit some other person to use such information or device to obtain cash, credit, property, services, or any other thing of value or to make a financial payment;

(OR)

(c) With the intent to defraud, falsely makes, completes, alters, or utters a written instrument or financial device containing any personal identifying information or financial identifying information of another;

(OR)

(d) Knowingly possesses the personal identifying information or financial identifying information of another without permission or lawful authority to use in applying for or completing an application for a financial device or other extension of credit;

(OR)

(e) Knowingly uses or possesses the personal identifying information of another without permission or lawful authority with the intent to obtain a government-issued document;

(2) Identity theft is a class 4 felony.

[HMS – Sentencing Enhancement For Prior Conviction For Identity Theft]

(3) The court shall be required to sentence the defendant to the department of corrections for a term of at least the minimum of the presumptive range and may sentence the defendant to a maximum of twice the presumptive range if:

(a) The defendant is convicted of identity theft or of attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit identity theft;

and

(b) The defendant has a prior conviction for a violation of this part 9 or a prior conviction for an offense committed in any other state, the United States, or any other territory subject to the jurisdiction of the United States that would constitute a violation of this part 9 if committed in this state, or for attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit a violation of this part 9 or for attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit an offense in another jurisdiction that would constitute a violation of this part 9 if committed in this state. 

What Is Identifying Information Under The Law?

Identifying information..

…is defined as information that, alone or in conjunction with other information, identifies an individual, including but not limited to such individual’s:

Name, address, or birth date.

Telephone, Social Security, taxpayer identification, driver’s license, identification card, alien registration, government passport, or checking, savings, or deposit account number.

Biometric data, defined as data, such as fingerprints, voice prints, or retina and iris prints,

that capture, represent, or enable the reproduction of the unique physical attributes of an individual.

Unique electronic identification device or telecommunication identifying device, meaning a number, or magnetic or electronic device that enables the holder to use telecommunications

technology to access an account; obtain money, goods, or services; or transfer funds.

Sentencing For A Conviction Of The Colorado Crime Of Identity Theft

Identity theft is a class 4 felony, punishable by two to six years in prison and/or a fine of $2000 to $500,000.

Colorado Identity Theft Law 18-5-902 – Sentence Enhancement For A Prior Conviction

However, the court may sentence the defendant to a term of imprisonment twice the presumptive range if the defendant is convicted of identity theft; and has a prior conviction for an identity theft violation.

Also – it is a class 5 felony to possess identity theft tools, including any equipment adapted, designed, or commonly used for committing or facilitating the commission of identity theft, with the intent of using the tools to commit the crime. Statute: CRS 18.5.905.

It is also a class 5 felony to gather identity information by deception. This offense occurs if a person knowingly makes or conveys a materially false statement, without permission or lawful

authority, with the intent to obtain, record, or access the personal identifying information of another. Statute: CRS 18-5-904.

Colorado Identity Theft Law 18-5-902 – The Mental State Of The Colorado Crime Of Identity Theft

Every Colorado crime requires both a culpable mental state and a physical act – these are called the mens rea and the acteus reus.  For the crime of Identity Theft the mental state is “knowingly” and that mental state applies to every element of the crime including the requirement that the suspect knows that the identifying information belong to “another.”

Section 18-5-902(1)(a) of the identity theft statute specifies “knowingly” as the culpable mental state, and this mental state must apply to every element of the offense. 18-1-503(4).

Another section of Colorado Criminal Law – 18-1-501(6), Defines What “Knowingly” Means

A person acts “knowingly” . . . with respect to conduct or to a circumstance described by a statute defining an offense when he is aware that his conduct is of such nature or that such circumstance exists. A person acts “knowingly” . . . with respect to a result of his conduct, when he is aware that his conduct is practically certain to cause the result.

A Failure Of Proof

In winning his appeal – Perez proved that the State of Colorado failed to find sufficient evidence to support the jury’s verdict on the identity theft charge and that the prosecution had failed to prove that he Perez knew the Social Security number belonged to an actual person as opposed to being merely fictitious.

Therefore to convict a defendant of identity theft under section 18-5-902(1)(a), the DA must prove that the defendant knew the personal identifying information, financial identifying information, or financial device he or she used was, in fact, the information or device of another.

Other Colorado Criminal Laws That May Accompany A Charge Of Identity Theft In Colorado

  • Forgery, § 18-5-102

  • Possession of forgery devices, § 18-5-109

  • Theft, § 18-4-401

  • Theft of trade secrets, § 18-4-408

  • Theft of medical records or medical information, § 18-4-412

  • Definitions relating to forgery, § 18-5-101

  • Forgery, § 18-5-102

  • Second degree forgery, § 18-5-104

  • Use of a forged academic record, § 18-5-104.5

  • Criminal possession of a forged instrument, § 18-5-105

  • Criminal possession of second degree forged instrument, § 18-5-107

  • Criminal possession of forgery devices, § 18-5-109

  • Trademark counterfeiting, § 18-5-110.5

  • Obtaining signature by deception, § 18-5-112

  • Criminal impersonation, § 18-5-113

  • Offering a false instrument for recording, § 18-5-114

  • Fraud by check, § 18-5-205

  • Defrauding a secured creditor or debtor, § 18-5-206

  • Issuing a false financial statement, § 18-5-209

  • Definitions relating to financial transaction devices, § 18-5-701

  • Unauthorized use of a financial transaction device, § 18-5-702

  • Criminal possession of a financial transaction device, § 18-5-703

  • Sale or possession for sale of a financial transaction device, § 18-5-704

  • Criminal possession or sale of a blank financial transaction device, § 18-5-705

  • Criminal possession of forgery devices, § 18-5-706

  • Unlawful manufacture of a financial transaction device, § 18-5-707

  • Definitions relating to computer crime, § 18-5.5-101

  • Computer crime, § 18-5.5-102

  • False reporting to authorities, § 18-8-111

  • Telecommunications crime, § 18-9-309

  • Definitions relating to pawn shop records, § 18-16-102

  • Purchaser to identify seller, § 18-16-103

  • Purchaser to maintain register and obtain declaration of seller’s ownership, § 18-16-105

  • Penalty for failure to identity or maintain records, § 18-16-108

  • Unlawful possession or use of drivers license, § 42-2-136

  • Unlawful acts involving identification cards, § 42-2-309

Colorado Identity Theft Law 18-5-902

Denver Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: H. Michael Steinberg – Email The Author -hmichaelsteinberg@hmichaelsteinberg.com or call his office at 303-627-7777 during business hours – or call his cell phone anytime – 720-227-7777.

If you are charged with A Colorado crime or you have questions about Colorado Identity Theft Law 18-5-902, please call our office.

The Law Offices of H. Michael Steinberg, in Denver, Colorado, provide criminal defense clients with effective, efficient, intelligent and strong legal advocacy. We can educate you and help you navigate the stressful and complex legal process related to your criminal defense issue.

H. Michael Steinberg, is a Denver, Colorado criminal defense lawyer with over 30 years of day to day courtroom experience –  specializing only in Colorado Criminal Law along the Front Range.  He will provide you with a free initial case consultation to evaluate your legal issues and to answer your questions with an honest assessment of your options.  Remember, it costs NOTHING to discuss your case.  So call now for an immediate free phone consultation.

Helping Clients To Make Informed Decisions In the Defense of Colorado Criminal Cases. Colorado Defense Lawyer H. Michael Steinberg provides solid criminal defenses for clients throughout the Front Range of Colorado – including the City and County courts of Adams County, Arapahoe County, City and County of Boulder, City and County of Broomfield, City and County of Denver, Douglas County, El Paso County – Colorado Springs, Gilpin County, Jefferson County, Larimer County, and Weld County,…. and all the other cities and counties of Colorado along the I-25 Corridor… on cases involving …Colorado Identity Theft Law 18-5-902. 


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___________________________
H. Michael Steinberg Esq.
Attorney and Counselor at Law
The Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm of H. Michael Steinberg
A Denver, Colorado Lawyer Focused Exclusively On
Colorado Criminal Law For Over 30 Years.
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