Identity theft is a crime with increasingly high rates all across the United States, most of which have been witnessed in the state of California. Identity theft is illegally taking personal information belonging to another individual and using it in a fraudulent and unlawful manner.
Examples of personal identifying information are:
Examples of identity theft:
- names, addresses, date of birth and telephone numbers
- Social Security numbers and tax ID
- passport information and driver’s license numbers
- employee ID numbers and school ID
- information in regard to a credit card or bank account
- information that is reflected on a death or birth certificate
- enjoying a financial benefit that is not deserved; for instance, using another person’s credit card or forging another person’s signature on a check
- using another person’s name to escape criminal culpability – such information may include a birth date or a variety of other identifying information
- being responsible for a victim suffering emotionally due to financial loss
Defenses to identity theft
Some of the defenses that are legally acknowledged that may insulate you from legal prosecution from crimes of identity theft include:
- you did not have any criminal intentions when you committed the alleged crime
- you did not use any of the information for illegal purposes
- you are the victim of false accusations or mistaken identity
Identity theft law penalties
In California identity theft crime is considered as a wobbler – meaning that it may be punished either as a felony or a misdemeanor. In the event that you are convicted of identity theft as a felony the sentence you might end up receiving is a maximum of three years in prison or a fine of $10,000. If you are convicted under a misdemeanor, the sentence might be a $1,000 fine and up to one year imprisonment.
There are several crimes that are associated with identity theft. In many cases, the prosecuting attorneys might charge you with the following offenses:
- false personation law
- welfare fraud
- credit card fraud
- internet fraud
- unemployment insurance fraud
- forgery law
Theft offenses are closely related to identity theft crimes, because in illegally obtaining someone’s personal information, the criminal also steals goods and money.
Our downtown LA law firm will provide you with sufficient legal representation that will improve your chances of clearing your name.
Give us a call today for a consultation
on your identity theft case. We will closely study all the essential details in your case and determine the appropriate legal strategy to use. We have broad experience in dealing with identity theft cases and are sure to give you the defense you deserve in order to clear your name.