Penalties and Consequences for Federal Identity Theft

Identity theft is a serious crime that affects millions of people every year. The consequences of identity theft can be devastating. In some cases, identity theft is even punishable by federal charges.

What are federal identity theft charges, what do they entail, and what can you do if you’ve been accused of this crime?

The United States Attorney’s Office brings federal identity theft charges against individuals accused of using someone else’s personal information to commit fraud or other crimes. This can include using another person’s Social Security number, driver’s license, or credit card information to open bank accounts, take out loans, or make purchases. In some cases, identity theft may also involve stealing someone else’s identity to obtain government benefits or to avoid paying taxes.

Consequences of federal identity theft charges

Federal identity theft charges can carry severe penalties, including significant fines, lengthy prison sentences, and a permanent criminal record. In addition to the legal consequences, individuals convicted of identity theft may face social and professional repercussions, such as difficulty finding employment or obtaining loans. The exact penalties depend on the specific circumstances of the case and the laws violated, but they can range from a maximum of 2 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for a first-time offense to a maximum of 30 years in prison and a fine of $1 million for repeat offenses or if the identity theft was committed in furtherance of another federal crime.

What you can do if you’ve been accused of identity theft

If someone or the government accuses you of federal identity theft, it’s essential to take the charges seriously and seek legal counsel. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you understand the charges against you and develop a strategy for your defense. This may include challenging the evidence against you, arguing that you did not intend to commit identity theft, or negotiating a plea agreement with the prosecution.

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The steps in a federal identity theft prosecution typically include:

The steps in a federal identity theft prosecution depend on the circumstances of each particular case; however, the ordinary steps in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan (USDCEDM) are as follows:

  • Investigation: A federal law enforcement agency, such as the FBI, conducts an investigation to gather evidence of a suspected crime.
  • Grand Jury Indictment: If the investigation produces sufficient evidence, the case may be presented to a grand jury, which determines whether there is probable cause to believe the suspect committed the crime.
  • Arraignment: If the grand jury returns an indictment, the defendant is arraigned in federal court and enters a plea of guilty or not guilty.
  • Discovery: Both the prosecution and defense have the opportunity to gather and review evidence and information related to the case.
  • Pretrial Motions: Both sides may file motions to have certain evidence excluded or to have the charges dismissed.
  • Trial: If the case goes to trial, the prosecution and defense present their evidence and arguments to a jury.
  • Verdict: The jury reaches a verdict of guilty or not guilty.
  • Sentencing: If the defendant is found guilty, the judge imposes a sentence, which may include imprisonment, fines, and other penalties.
  • Appeal: The defendant can appeal a conviction for federal identity theft charges or their sentence to a higher court.
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Your Best Defense Against Federal Identity Theft Charges

Federal identity theft charges are serious and carry severe consequences. If you face federal identity theft charges, immediately seek legal counsel from the federal identity theft attorneys with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. By understanding the charges against you and working with a criminal defense attorney, you can increase your chances of a favorable outcome. We offer a free consultation. If you call, an experienced attorney will talk with you, discuss your options, and help you determine the best course to protect yourself.

Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete an online Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.

We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

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History of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan is a federal court with jurisdiction over the eastern half of the state of Michigan. The court was established in 1837 as part of the Michigan Territorial Court and became a part of the federal court system when Michigan became a state in 1837.

Over the years, the Eastern District of Michigan has played an important role in shaping the legal landscape of the United States, handling a variety of significant cases, including civil rights cases, environmental cases, federal identity theft charges, and white-collar criminal cases. The court has also been at the forefront of efforts to modernize the federal court system and improve access to justice for all citizens.

One notable case in the history of the Eastern District of Michigan is United States v. Dr. Kevorkian, a high-profile case involving the assisted suicide advocate Dr. Jack Kevorkian. In 1999, Dr. Kevorkian was convicted in the Eastern District of Michigan of second-degree murder for assisting a terminally ill patient in ending her life. The case received widespread media attention and sparked a national debate about the right to die.

Today, the Eastern District of Michigan remains an active and important federal court, handling a wide range of cases and serving the citizens of Michigan.