Ohio Statute of Limitations on Identity Theft

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Identity theft is a serous crime in Ohio, one that can result in several years in prison and hefty fines. The statute of limitations for crimes in the state sets specific limits on when the government can prosecute a person for the crime. Talk to an Ohio criminal defense attorney if you need legal advice about identity theft crimes in the state.

Identity Fraud

Ohio categorizes and criminalizes specific actions as identify fraud, commonly known as identity theft. Ohio Revised Code Section 2913.49 states that anyone who obtains or uses another person's personal information without that person's permission and with the intent to claim to be that person or represent the information as his own information commits the crime of identity fraud. The type of information covered under this statute includes, but is not limited to, a person's name, address, phone number, credit card information and Social Security number.

Penalties

Ohio Revised Code Section 2913.49(I)(2) states that anyone who commits the crime of identity fraud for up to $500 in value commits a fifth-degree felony offense. If the value of the property involved is more than $500 but less than $5,000, the crime is a fourth-degree felony. If the property is valued at $5,000 to $100,00, the crime is a third-degree felony, while if it is over $100,000, it is a second-degree felony.

Elderly and Disabled

If the victim of the identity theft is either a disabled adult or person 65 or older, the severity of the crime increases in most situations, according to Ohio Revised Code Section 2913.49(I)(3). Any identity theft that results in a $500 or more loss is increased by one level. For example, a theft of $1,000 is typically charged as a fourth-degree felony, but if the victim is an elderly person, it is charged as a third-degree felony.

Limitations

Ohio Revised Code Section 2901.13 states that the general statute of limitations for any felony is 20 years. However, the statute also provides that any prosecution for identity fraud can also be commenced after the 20-year period has expired but within five years of the discovery of the offense by either the person affected or that person's representative. This effectively gives an indefinite statute of limitations for identity theft in Ohio.