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What to Do When Facing Charges of Identity Theft

 Posted on May 31,2019 in White Collar Crimes

Knoxville identity theft defense lawyer

Identity theft continues to be an issue for many people even with security measures in place. This kind of theft can range from a few fraudulent charges on a stolen credit card or a total theft of identity by pretending to be someone who they are not. There are two different types of identity theft, financial and criminal. Both, obviously, are illegal, and a perpetrator can end up facing criminal charges. If you are charged with any type of identity theft, it is important to speak to a knowledgeable attorney to understand your options for defense.  

What Is Identity Theft?

Identity theft occurs when a person gains access to someone else’s financial information and uses credit card, bank account, and/or personal identification numbers to make purchases. The records could be stolen through a variety of means, such as hacking into a financial institution’s computer system, using a device called a skimmer at a gas pump, or digging through a person’s trash to find statements and other personal information. Many credit card companies and banks have fraud alerts that may catch unusual activity on their customers’ accounts.

Identity theft also encompasses crimes in which one person uses another’s name and possibly identification when he or she has been arrested. This will lead to the victim having a criminal record that is not of his or her own doing. The thief could possibly just use the victim’s name. There have also been cases when the perpetrator actually steals the victim’s identification and resembles him or her enough to get by with using it, or they may have figured out a way to place their own photograph on the ID.

What Are the Penalties For an Identity Thief?

Oftentimes, identity theft alone is not enough to land a person in jail. If you are facing charges of identity theft, it is probably tied to some more serious crimes, like bank or credit fraud, that have added up to large amounts of money and/or property stolen. An identity theft charge alone can result in up to 15 years in prison, and of course, forfeiture of any property obtained through the use of false identification. When other fraud or theft charges are added, those may incur up to 30 more years per charge for the perpetrator, along with fines.

Call a Union County Identity Theft Attorney

Despite the fact that identity theft is not always prosecuted by itself, it is a serious crime that can lead to jail time. If you have been accused of identity theft and/or related crimes, then Jeffrey Coller, Knoxville Criminal Defense Attorney, can help. An experienced Blount County identity theft attorney may be able to get your charges reduced or dropped. Call 865-281-1000 to schedule a free consultation.





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