Identity Theft

Identify theft, otherwise known as ID theft, is a serious offense under Texas law. If a person steals another’s identity or identifying information, he or she is committing a crime. This information can include social security numbers, credit or debit card information, and contact credentials. Identity theft is a felony offense in Texas.

A conviction for identity theft can result in severe punishments including court fines, jail or prison sentences, and a criminal record. Do not take this charge lightly. If you or someone you know has been charged with identity theft or other related white-collar crimes, it’s in your best interest to obtain trusted legal representation. 

Identity Theft Attorneys in San Antonio, Texas

Any person who has been charged with identity theft, should seek legal counsel. Hiring an attorney can greatly increase your chance of reducing or dismissing your criminal charges. A skilled attorney can collect evidence, negotiate pre-trial motions, and create a sturdy defense. Stay ahead of the prosecution. Call the attorneys at Flanary Law Firm, PLLC today. 

Flanary Law Firm, PLLC is a group of attorneys with a strong focus in criminal defense. We are well-versed in Texas fraud laws. Our attorneys are passionate about preserving our client’s rights. We want to obtain the best possible results for your case. Start the first steps of your defense today. Get in contact with the attorneys at Flanary Law Firm, PLLC

The attorneys at Flanary Law Firm, PLLC represent residents throughout the Bexar County area including nearby counties such as Atascosa County, Reeves County, Comal County, Kendall County, and Guadalupe County. 

Call us today at (210) 738-8383 or simply submit an online contact form.

Overview for Identity Theft Laws in Texas


Definitions for Identity Theft Laws in Texas

It’s illegal to possess, obtain, transfer, or defraud a person’s “identifying information” or “telecommunication access device” to obtain something of value. Texas Penal Code § 32.51 defines “identifying information” as any information that identifies a person including:

  • Name and date of birth;
  • Unique biometric data, such as a person’s fingerprint, voice print, retina, or iris image;
  • Unique electronic identification number, address, routing code, or financial institution account number;
  • Telecommunication identifying information or access device; and
  • Social security number or other government-issued identification number.

Texas law defines “telecommunication access device” as any card, plate, code, account number, personal identification number, electronic serial number, mobile identification number, or other telecommunications service that may be used to: 

  • Obtain money, goods, services, or other things of value; or
  • Initiate a transfer of funds other than a transfer originated solely by paper instrument. 

Identity Theft Elements under Texas Law

Texas Penal Code § 32.51(b) outlines the elements a person must fulfill to commit the crime of identity theft. A person commits identity theft if, with the intent to harm or defraud another, attempts to or does obtain, possess, transfer, or uses an item of:

  • Identifying information of another person without the victim’s consent;
  • Information concerning a deceased person, including a stillborn infant or fetus, that would be identifying information if that person were that person alive, if the item of information is obtained, possessed, transferred, or used without legal authorization; or
  • Identifying information of a child younger than 18 years of age.

Remember, that a person does not have to commit fraud or harm the victim to be committing identity theft. If a person possesses identifying information of three or more people, deceased or alive, then he or she is presumed to have intent to harm or defraud for personal benefit.


Texas Penalties for Identity Theft in San Antonio

The penalties for identity theft are dependent on the number of items obtained, possessed, transferred or used. Texas Penal Code § 32.51(c), states that if a person if the number of items obtained is less than five it is considered a state jail felony.

The penalties for a state jail felony include:

  • 180 days to 24 months in jail; and
  • Possible fine of up to $10,000. 

If a person obtains, possess, transfers, or uses more than five but less than 10 items, he or she may be charged with a felony of the third degree.

The penalties for a third-degree felony include: 

  • Minimum of two years and a maximum of ten years in prison; and
  • A possible fine of up to $10,000.

If a person obtains, possess, transfers, or uses more than 10 but less than 50 items, he or she may be charged with a felony of the second degree

The penalties for a second-degree felony include:

  • Minimum of two years and a maximum of 20 years in prison; and
  • A possible fine of up to $10,000.

If a person obtains, possess, transfers, or uses 50 or more items he or she may be charged with a felony of the first degree.

The penalties for a first-degree felony include:

  • Minimum of five years and a maximum of 99 years in prison; and
  • A possible fine of up to $10,000.

The penalties for identity theft can be enhanced up a degree depending on the circumstances of the crime. The penalties will be enhanced if the crime was committed against an elderly person, or if the identifying information was used to register with the sex offender database.


Additional Resources 

Identity Theft – Visit the official website for Ken Paxton, the Attorney General of Texas. Find more information about identity theft, how to report ID theft crime, how to fill out an ID theft affidavit, and how to prevent further ID theft abuse. 

Texas Identity Theft Laws – Visit the official website for the Texas Penal Code. Find more information regarding identity theft, forgery, credit or debit abuse and other fraudulent offenses. Learn the offense specifics, penalties, and admissible defenses. 


Identity Theft Lawyers in San Antonio, Texas

Using a person’s identifying information can lead to criminal charges. If you are under investigation for identity theft, it is in your best interest to obtain a skilled criminal defense attorney.

The attorneys at Flanary Law Firm, PLLC are dedicated to preserving our client’s future. We value open transparency with all our clients. Rest assured, our attorneys will always clarify all your legal options. Gain a partner in this legal process and call the attorneys at Flanary Law Firm, PLLC.

Flanary Law Firm, PLLC practices law throughout the greater San Antonio area including Universal City, Leon Valley, Kirby, Terrell Hills, and Windcrest.

Call us at (210) 738-8383, or submit an online contact form for a free consultation.


This article was last updated on September 27, 2018.

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