Identity Theft In Wisconsin | Wisconsin Identity Theft Laws
Two Laws Governing Identity Theft In Wisconsin
As more and more of our lives are conducted electronically and online, identity theft has become more widespread and devastating to victims. But it’s not only individuals who can suffer from identity theft, businesses or other enterprises can become victims too. The State of Wisconsin recognizes this distinction and has created two different laws, which are used to identify and prosecute identity theft in Wisconsin. In both situations, identity theft is considered a white-collar felony crime. Penalties can include incarceration, fines, restitution, and probation, though the exact punishment will depend on case specifics.
Defining Identity Theft In Wisconsin
The State of Wisconsin considers the following to be identity theft:
- Unauthorized use of an individual’s personal identifying information and documents (Wisconsin State Statute 943.201).
- Unauthorized use of an entity’s identifying information or documents (Wisconsin State Statute 943.203).
A key component to determine whether an act is identity theft comes down to whether or not the defendant engaged in the “unauthorized use” of “personal identifying information or documents”. In other words, the defendant must have, without authorization, intentionally used or tried to use or possessed with intent to use the identifying information or documents of a person or entity.
Individual Identity Theft
All of the following pieces of personal information are protected under Wisconsin identity theft laws:
- Telephone number
- Driver’s license number
- Social security number
- Employer or place of employment
- Employee identification number
- Maiden name
- Bank or other depository account number
- Taxpayer ID number
- Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) profile
- Account numbers or codes
- Electronic serial numbers, mobile numbers, personal ID numbers or other telecommunications ID services, equipment or instruments
- Any other ways of accessing an account
- Biometric data, such as fingerprints, voice, retina or iris scan, or other unique physical representation
- Any information belonging to an individual with the capability to access goods, services, money or anything of value or benefit entitled to the individual
- Any information which can be uniquely associated with a specific individual
Organizational Identity Theft
Similar to individual identity theft, certain pieces of information that belong uniquely to an entity are also protected under the law. They include:
- Telephone number
- Employer ID number
- Bank and other depository account numbers
- Account number or code
- Electronic serial number, mobile number, personal ID number or other telecommunications ID service, equipment or instrument
- Any other way of accessing an account
- Any other unique data or information belonging to the entity designed to be used to access funds, services, goods or anything else of value or benefit including credit entitled to the entity
- Any other information that belongs to the entity
Defend Yourself Against Charges Of Identity Theft
If you have been charged with or believe that you are being investigated for identity theft in Wisconsin, contact the criminal defense attorneys at Eisenberg Law Offices. A good defense against these charges is possible with the right help.
Contact us at 608-256-8356 to discuss your situation.