Recently, a suspect from North Hollywood was arrested by Santa Clarita Sheriff Station deputies on suspicion of identity theft and possessing drug paraphernalia. According to reports, deputies were patrolling when they noticed a vehicle that was violating an unnamed vehicle code when they decided to confront the driver. The driver, a 29-year-old woman, was found to be on active probation stemming from a previous identity theft conviction.
Upon conducting a search of her vehicle, deputies discovered not only methamphetamine, but multiple checks, credit cards, IDs, and other things that did not bear the suspect’s name. She was arrested and taken to the SCV Sheriff Station where she underwent booking and processing. She is currently being held in lieu of $50,000 bail.
Identity theft is covered under California Penal Code 530.5 PC and is described as “a person obtaining personal identifying information of someone else and then using that information for unlawful purposes. Typically, identity thieves use people’s stolen identities to obtain money, credit, real estate property, and medical information without the consent of the person whose name they’re using.
Like many laws, 530.5 PC is considered a “wobbler” in California law that can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances involved and the defendant’s prior criminal history. Misdemeanor charges include the potential penalties of summary probation, up to 1 year in county jail, and/or a fine of up to $1,000. Felony charges carry the potential penalties of formal probation, up to 3 years in state prison, and/or a maximum fine of up to $10,000.
Since the defendant was previously convicted of identity theft, it’s highly likely she will face felony charges of identity theft.
Possessing drug paraphernalia is covered under California Health and Safety Code 11364 HS. It’s typically charged when someone is found to be in possession of items that relate to the use of drugs, such as opium pipes, hypodermic needles, and other devices.
The crime is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.