Identity Theft Defense Attorney in Michigan
If you are accused of Identity Theft, you will need a top-rated, zealous criminal defense attorney to fend off law enforcement and possibly avoid a conviction and jail.
Identity Theft Defense Attorney
Anyone who knows what is happening in the news knows that identity theft is a huge problem. Perpetrators are becoming more technologically advanced and aggressive with each passing day. Because of the attention given to these cases in the media, laws prohibiting and punishing identity theft are very aggressive and provide severe penalties. Unfortunately, prosecutors in these cases can be overzealous and may even try to get a conviction when a defendant made an innocent mistake. A skilled, experienced identity theft defense attorney can protect and defend you.
Local, state, and federal authorities take identity theft very seriously. The government wants to show they have a handle on the issue. As a result, law enforcement is overly aggressive in arresting and prosecuting people suspected of Identity Theft. Laws have been enacted to punish convicted persons severely, and prosecutors do whatever it takes to secure convictions and jail sentences. If you have been charged or investigated, you need an identity theft defense lawyer to stand up to the government and ensure your rights are protected. In most cases, your lawyer is the only thing standing between you and jail, so you will want the best one available.
Remember, if you are being investigated for any criminal allegation, do not say a word to anyone other than your lawyer. Suppose you do not have a lawyer and are being investigated or charged with identity theft. In that case, you need to hire an experienced and successful defense attorney immediately.
What exactly is Identity Theft?
In a nutshell, identity theft is obtaining another person’s private, personal information and using the information to commit a crime, usually some theft. The specific elements of the law are as follows:
A person commits identity theft if they intend to defraud another person by using another person’s personal identifying information. A person may not obtain and then fraudulently use another person’s personal identification information to obtain:
- a vital record,
- confidential telephone records,
- medical records or information,
- or employment, or
- commit any other unlawful act.
The crime of identity theft also would include when a person allegedly conceals, withholds, or misrepresents someone’s identity. A person also may not make or utilize any electronic communication, such as email or a website, to gather personal identifying information intending to commit identity theft or any other crime.
Personal identifying information includes any information relating to an identifiable person. The government has charged defendants with Identity Theft in cases where a defendant used another person’s:
- social security number,
- date of birth,
- place of birth,
- mother’s maiden name,
- biometric records, and
- any other information linked or linkable to an individual, such as medical, educational, financial, and employment information. This can even include using another person’s credit card under current state and federal laws.
What are the penalties for committing identity theft?
- The first conviction carries a possible 5-year prison term, a $25,000.00 fine, or both.
- A second conviction carries a possible 10-year prison term, a $50,000.00 fine, or both.
- A third or further conviction carries a possible 15-year penalty, a $75,000.00 fine, or both.
- Also, persons convicted must make full restitution for any money obtained by fraudulent use of another’s identifying information.
There are also collateral consequences, like loss of employability, loss of a professional license, loss of the ability to possess firearms, loss of the ability to vote while incarcerated, damage to credit scores, deportation, or inability to re-enter the United States for non-US citizens, and much more.
Prosecutors aggressively pursue convictions in these cases due to intense public pressure, as seen in the news almost daily. Make no mistake; they want to show the public they are getting convictions and putting people in jail. This does not have to be your fate. A top identity theft defense lawyer can help you!
Defenses for Identity Theft Charges
There are many defenses to identity theft charges, some of them are as follows:
- consent by the person whose personal information was used,
- the person using the personal information paid to be able to use the information of another,
- the use of the information was for lawful enforcement of the user’s legal rights, or
- the use was authorized by law or court order.
Identity theft laws are regularly expanded. Although not initially included in the identity theft statute, it is now illegal for a person to falsely create an email claiming to be a business or create a web page claiming to be a business and then attempt to solicit the personal information of a user of the internet with the intent to commit identity theft or another crime. The exception to these rules is that these actions may be done with the business’s consent as long as the purpose is not unlawful. A person also may not file a false police report of identity theft.
Federal Identity Theft Crimes
The federal statute making identity theft illegal under federal law is The Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act. Under this act, it is unlawful to knowingly transfer or use a means of identifying another person intending to commit a crime or without lawful authority. It is also illegal to aid or abet any unlawful activity that violates federal law or a state felony.
A federal conviction for identity theft carries a maximum possible sentence of 15 years imprisonment, years of supervised release, and substantial fines.
An aggressive, savvy, experienced, and creative criminal defense lawyer is needed at the earliest possible stage of a case.
If you face identity theft charges, there is hope for you. Each identity theft defense lawyer at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. has extensive experience in all areas of criminal law, including identity theft. We have an outstanding reputation for winning or favorably resolving the most complex criminal cases. Why? We are always on the cutting edge of new and highly creative legal strategies because we never give up. We have the credibility and reputation for being taken very seriously by courts and prosecutors throughout Michigan. We will leave no stone unturned to achieve the best possible result for our clients. There are defenses to identity theft, and we know them all.
Top-Rated Criminal Defense Attorneys for Identity Theft
The dedicated, experienced, and zealous defense attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have successfully represented thousands of clients on felony and misdemeanor charges, including identity theft, in the United States District Court and in Oakland, Macomb, Wayne, Washtenaw, and Livingston County courts and throughout Michigan. We know how to defend an Identity Theft charge. We have a well-earned reputation for providing the highest quality defense and aggressive representation for those charged with identity theft and related offenses, while showing empathy and care for each client.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete a Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.