The Sentence (Identity Theft) Essay

816 words - 3 pages

Identity theft has become a growing problem in the United States. It is "defined as the process of using someone else's personal information for your own personal gain." (SpendOnLife.com, 2009)When a person is arrested on charges of identity theft and then brought to trial, the judge needs to take into consideration various things before he or she hands down a sentence. Among those things are educational backgrounds, finances, standing in the community and even past criminal activity if there is any. The judge may even want to know about the defendant's family, relationships they may have and why the defendant committed the crime. In probably 99 percent of the cases, the defendant stole someone's identity for monetary gain. A lot of importance lies in the reasoning behind the crime, and the sentence that the offender receives because of it. A person stealing a social security number along with a birth certificate and other very personal information and then uses that information to re-create themselves should receive a harsh punishment. Someone who gets a duplicate credit card made may not get as stiff a sentence. (Stephan, Pennington, Krishnamurthi, and Reidy, 2009)Once the defendant has been sentenced, he or she would need to obtain a job through the jail and have part of their pay taken to pay back their victim(s). This would be mandatory and not only would they have to repay the amount of damage caused but also for future inconvenience for the victim(s) to regain their good name and build their credit history back up. While paying restitution to the victim may not give them closure or help them deal with all the red tape involved in repairing their good name, it might make them feel better to know that the person who robbed them of their identity is serving time and being made to pay them back. The very fact that the criminal is serving time may be enough retribution for some people who have been victimized, but is that really enough? The judge who handles the sentencing of the criminal needs to consider all the information presented in the trial regarding the defendant and based on that, decide how big of a sentence would be appropriate. If they have been stealing identities for years and causing large amounts of damage, a longer sentence would likely be the best route. If the incident is isolated and the person admits wrongdoing as well as offering apologies to everyone...

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