41-year-old Jeremy Shelton was pulled over on a traffic stop by Phoenix PD in late May, and in his possession, police reportedly found a bag of meth and a fake ID. Soon after making the stop, police discovered that Shelton also had multiple warrants out for his arrest.
Apparently, Shelton had fled to Nebraska after Phoenix police showed up at his home and found “illegal items" at his residence. Shelton, who was visiting AZ to attend his daughter’s high school graduation, was charged with criminal possession of a forgery device, taking the identity of another, drug paraphernalia possession, and dangerous drug possession.
Identity Theft in Arizona
In Arizona, it is illegal to obtain another individual’s personally identifying information in any manner. It is illegal to knowingly acquire another person’s personal identification information without their consent with the intent to obtain or use the other person’s identity for any unlawful purpose. Identify theft is illegal whether or not the other person actually suffers economic losses.
Common identity theft offenses include manufacturing identifying information, possessing identifying information, taking identifying information, purchasing identifying information, and using identifying information.
How is identity theft charged in AZ?
Identity theft is typically charged as a class 4 felony in Arizona, and comes with a maximum 30 month prison sentence and a maximum $150,000 fine. However, if there are four or more victims and the offense results in an economic loss of over $3,000, the crime will be charged as aggravated identity theft. Aggravated identity theft is typically charged as a class 3 felony in AZ and comes with a maximum 42 month prison sentence and a maximum $150,000 fine.
Identify theft is a very serious crime and is prosecuted harshly in Arizona.