Orlando Identity Theft Lawyer
The Internet has made it much easier to gain access to someone else’s personal information today. It is for this reason that identity theft charges are much more common now than they were even ten years ago. Federal prosecutors know that juries are usually very sympathetic to victims of identity theft, and they use that fact to their advantage when trying a case. The prosecution often has to rely on that sympathy because without it, it is quite difficult to secure a conviction for identity theft. If you have been charged, an Orlando identity theft lawyer can provide the defense you need.
What is Identity Theft?
As cases of identity theft became more common, Congress enacted the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act in 1998. Identity theft is defined as illegally obtaining someone else’s personal information with the intent to defraud the victim of property or money. The Act makes it a federal crime to commit, attempt to commit, or help someone commit identity theft. There are a number of different types of personal information that can result in identity theft charges. They include:
- Date of birth
- Social security number
- Credit card information
- Bank account information
- Telephone number, including cell phones
- Birth, death, and marriage certificates
- Passport numbers
- Passwords and log-in information
Penalties for Identity Theft
If an alleged identity theft offense involves the production or transfer of an identification document issued by the federal government, or such a document is counterfeited, the penalty is a maximum of 15 years in federal prison. A person who possesses the equipment needed to produce such documents will face the same penalty. Anyone who is convicted of identity theft and who obtained money, goods, or services with a value of at least $1,000 over the course of one year could also be sentenced to 15 years in prison.
In certain situations, the penalty for identity theft can increase to a maximum of 20 years in federal prison. These include when the offense involved a violent crime, drug trafficking, or if the defendant has prior convictions for identity theft.
Defenses Available in Identity Theft Cases
A charge for identity theft is a very scary thing to face, but there are defenses available. Law enforcement sometimes illegally searches a person or their property and when that is the case, any evidence obtained during the search is inadmissible in the case. Without that evidence, it is very difficult for the prosecution to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Prosecuting identity theft cases also relies heavily on testimony from the victim, which is not as easy to obtain as people may think. Victims often cannot remember all the details of the experience because trials can take place months, or even years, after the alleged offense was committed. During this time, the victim may also lose important documentation the prosecution was relying on to prove their case.
Our Identity Theft Lawyer in Orlando Can Help You Beat Your Charges
Identity theft is a very serious federal crime. At Joshi Law Firm, our Orlando identity theft lawyer can provide the defense you need to beat your charges. Call us today at 407-661-1109 or contact us online to request a free consultation.