Identity theft has become a multi-billion-dollar criminal enterprise in the U.S. and across the globe. We’re trying harder than ever to protect our identities and personal information, but what happens if you’re being accused of or under investigation for identity theft. After any kind of arrest or initial investigative news, you need to get with a skilled criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to get the ball rolling on your defense. The increasingly digital atmosphere means investigations have gotten more sophisticated. Don’t wait until you’re waiting for your ‘one call’ to get with an attorney. The sooner you speak with a lawyer, the better your chances are for a favorable outcome of your case. Listed below are just a few different types of identity theft crimes.
Different Types of Identity Theft Crimes
- Credit card fraud
- Identity cloning
- Check forgery
- Child identity theft
- Mail theft
- Posing as another person to commit a crime
- Medical identity theft
One of the main elements associated with most forms of identity theft is the theft or use of somebody else’s personal identification information. Theft of personal identification information can come in the form of the physical taking of an item. If you’ve ever had your driver’s license or credit card stolen, that can certainly make you feel uneasy about your personal information being taken. Additionally, it’s becoming more and more popular for identity theft to occur online. Email and online bank accounts are hacked and new accounts are setup. Fraudulent purchases are made. There have even been a variety of cases where personal financial information is leaked or hacked from well-known retailers and businesses for identity theft purposes. It’s even possible for family members or trusted loved ones to gain access or use somebody else’s personal identification information in efforts to commit identity theft. Listed below are some commonly used forms of personal identification information.
Personal Identification Information
- Social security number
- Date of birth
- New account fraud
- Credit card numbers
- Financial records
- Account takeover fraud
- Credit report information
- Business or commercial identity theft
- Drivers license
- Telephone numbers
- Names of relatives
- Identification cards
Although you might feel like you’re in the clear, because you didn’t actually go through with a particular crime, in the eyes of the law, you could still be facing a possible conviction and penalties. In most cases involving identity theft, there only needs to be proven fraudulent intent for a conviction. This means that you don’t actually have to have gone through with the act of stealing somebody’s identity. If the prosecutor can prove that you had the intent to commit fraud, that might be all they need. The laws and investigations surrounding identity theft cases and other hacking or cyber crimes can be very complex. There could be multiple investigative agencies involved, so the sooner you speak with a proven criminal defense attorney, the better off you’ll be.
Penalties Associated With Identity Theft
If convicted of a felony identity theft charge, you could be looking at several years behind bars in a federal correctional facility. Fines can also exceed $5,000 or more, depending upon the circumstances of your individual case. If the identity theft resulted in a significant loss of money or financial harm, you might also expect to be ordered to pay restitution if convicted. Just because these are typically considered non-violent crimes, doesn’t mean the laws are lenient. It also doesn’t matter if you’re a first time offender or a repeat offender. If convicted of identity theft or similar crimes, you can expect to have the book thrown at you in court. Your best shot after any type of arrest is having a proven, skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney in your corner.
Identity theft charges are nothing to joke about. Don’t wait until you’re being booked to think about getting in touch with an attorney. As soon as you think you’re under investigation for identity theft or some other type of financial or cyber crime, you need to get the ball rolling on your defense. A lawyer will be your advocate during this difficult time. If you or somebody you love has been charged with identity theft or is under investigation for identity theft or a similar crime, contact the experienced and proven team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 265-7766 for an immediate case consultation.
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