In the state of Tennessee, identity theft is a felony punishable by up to 12 years in prison and a fine of $5,000. Furthermore, the state may recoup legal costs in a criminal case in addition to a prison sentence and fine. In a civil case, victims of identity theft can be awarded up to three times their actual damages. They may also be awarded the greater of $10,000 or $5,000 a day that their identity was assumed.
Victims of identity theft may be reimbursed for their losses because of identity theft as well as interest on that amount. In some cases, the state attorney general will order an injunction that freezes the assets of a person who engages in identity theft. If that injunction is violated, it could result in a penalty of $5,000 as well as contempt of court sanctions.
Individuals who are concerned about becoming the victim of identity theft are encouraged to take steps to protect their sensitive information. Personal information can be obtained both digitally or by going through a person's trash. Those who think that they have had their identity stolen should notify the authorities as soon as possible. This may help them mitigate the potential negative consequences associated with it.
If a person has been charged with identity theft or any other type of fraud, it could be beneficial to hire an attorney. An attorney may negotiate a plea bargain that reduces the amount of time a person spends behind bars or eliminates the need to pay a fine. In some cases, an attorney may be able to get evidence suppressed in a case, which may result in a criminal charge being thrown out.