The Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act passed in 2004 made identity theft an aggravated crime and put in place a mandatory two year prison sentence for the transgression, reports Identity Theft Awareness. This sentence could be increased depending on the nature and severity of the identity theft committed.
The act of identity theft itself carries a mandatory, minimum two year prison sentence, but the punishment will almost never stop there, says Identity Theft Awareness. Whatever the person committing the crime ends up doing with the information or identity attained automatically constitutes another crime, whether it is fraud, petty theft or something more serious. Each of these subsequent crimes will come with its own sentence that will likely include jail time.
Identity theft is one of the most damaging and devastating non-violent crimes one can commit, states Identity Theft Awareness. The ramifications for the victim are extensive and sometimes unable to be remedied. In some cases, identity theft can even be interpreted by the government as a form of terrorism. Because of this, the government has taken a strict stance against those who commit this type of crime. Both for national and personal security purposes, it is imperative that this type of crime is caught early and, in the long run, stopped completely.