Montgomery County Identity Theft Lawyer
It is estimated that identity theft losses total billions of dollars. With such massive amounts lost, it is no surprise that banks, law enforcement, and prosecutors are incredibly motivated to fine and prosecute people who have stolen others’ identities. The most common avenue for identity theft is through online resources, which is why law enforcement implements sophisticated techniques to follow the path of online transactions and track them back to the computers used for the crime.
When law enforcement charges an individual with identity theft, prosecutors will typically have specific, detailed evidence that can be used against them. Based on the circumstances of the case, a person can be charged with violating both state and federal laws. Facing identity theft charges is not something to take lightly. Should you be convicted, the consequences of those charges are severe and can impact you for a lifetime. Contact Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C. to work with an identity theft defense attorney who is as determined to protect your rights and freedom as you are.
Charged With A Criminal Offense And Have Questions? We Can Help, Tell Us What Happened.
How Does Pennsylvania Define Identity Theft?
Pennsylvania state law defines identity theft as a person obtaining or using someone else’s personal identifying information without consent or permission and they use that information for illegal or unlawful purposes. Identifying information includes but is not limited to:
- Using a person’s image or personal information that would be normally used to establish an identity
- Using another person’s social security number
- Using another person’s birth dates
- Using another person’s phone number or address
- Using another person’s banking information or payroll numbers
Nearly any information that is considered unique and specific to a person can be considered “identity information.” it is important to remember that not all identifying information is perceived as secretive or even sensitive information. For instance, birthdays, phone numbers, and addresses are often given willingly for various reasons. However public the information may be, it is considered identifying information; therefore, using it without permission or consent is often grounds for an identity theft charge.
Federal Identity Theft Definition
Federal crimes are charged according to federal law, not state law. This means that if an individual is charged with identity theft in Pennsylvania, but the charges are for federal violations, the case will follow federal law, not state law.
Federal law supplies a similar definition of identity theft, however, it is a more elaborate definition. Under federal law, it is illegal to knowingly produce, possess, transfer, or otherwise use various identification documents for unlawful purposes.
Get Advice From An Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney. All You Have To Do Is Call 215-822-7575 To Receive Your Free Case Evaluation.
What Are the Penalties for an Identity Theft Conviction in Pennsylvania?
A person may face various penalties due to an identity theft charge, all of which largely depend on the amount of the alleged loss. Depending on the circumstances of the case an offender may have broken state and federal laws which means significantly harsher penalties.
In Pennsylvania, the seriousness of identity theft is based on the value involved. Pennsylvania categorizes a first-degree misdemeanor as a first offense in which the total value involved is less than $2,000 and is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and five years in prison. Offenses that involve more than $2,000 or are related to a criminal conspiracy are considered third-degree felonies and are punishable by up to seven years in prison. Third offenses or more, regardless of the value, are considered second-degree felonies.
In addition to the criminal penalties, the court may order the accused to pay restitution to the alleged victim which is ordinarily used to cover their attorney’s fees. The court can also order the accused to pay the pertinent credit bureau fees necessary to correct the alleged victim’s credit record. Furthermore, the accused may need to pay all of the filing fees and court’s costs that were necessary to complete the investigation of the theft and to file a lawsuit.
Legal Defenses for Identity Theft Charges
When facing such harsh penalties as those for an identity theft conviction, it is essential to work with a talented identity theft defense attorney who knows what it takes to build a strong defense. Some of the most common defenses used against identity theft charges include:
Whether for malicious intent or a misunderstanding, it is possible that the accusation against the alleged offender is false and it is up to a defense attorney to show that the prosecution cannot prove the accusation to be true.
Consent is powerful in the legal world. If the alleged victim gave the supposed offender content to access the information they cannot be charged with identity theft.
Lack of Fraudulent Intent
The prosecution does not have a case unless they can prove that the alleged offender stole someone’s identity with the intent to perform one or more illegal or unlawful actions. If the offender stole someone’s identifying information but did not do so for an unlawful purpose, then it does not constitute identity theft.
Proving identity theft requires establishing that the alleged offender intended to steal someone’s identifying information to commit an unlawful act. In many cases, the circumstances surrounding the identity theft are not clear enough for a criminal charge.
Collecting evidence to prove an identity theft charge often involves some type of search and seizure. If the search and seizure were unlawful, then the evidence is not admissible in court.
Facing penalties for identity theft charges is not something to take lightly. Prosecutors will do their best to ensure those charges stick and it is crucial to have a strong and trusted defense identity theft defense attorney at your side. Their job is to ensure your rights and best interests are protected regardless of the crime.
Contact a Talented Montgomery County Identity Theft Lawyer
Law enforcement and government attorneys aggressively prosecute identity theft crimes. They brutally pursue convictions, which is why it is crucial to contact an identity theft defense attorney as soon as possible. A defense attorney is your advocate for your interest and can negotiate with prosecutors and aggressively advocate for you in court.
Identity theft is a complex criminal offense. At Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C., we respond to the allegations our clients are facing and provide them with a viable defense. Our attorneys work tirelessly for our clients’ defense. Ensure that you have a strong advocate determined to seek out the best possible outcome and contact Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C. today. Schedule a free consultation at (215) 822-7575 or complete our contact form.
- Fines, court-imposed fees, or restitution
- Revocation of driving privileges
- Community restitution
- Correctional programs
Our group of criminal defense lawyers in Abington understands that no two cases are the same. We put our diverse set of skills to work in ensuring you have the strongest defense possible in your case. We know how the prosecution works in a criminal case and are ready to put all of our resources and experience to work in securing you reduced charges or a dismissal of your case.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Skilled Criminal Defense Attorneys in Abington Today
It is essential to obtain the legal advice of an experienced and reputable Abington criminal defense attorney as soon as possible in your case. Do not delay in contacting a lawyer after you have been arrested or learned that you are being investigated for committing a crime. Call our skilled team of criminal defense lawyers to schedule a free consultation to discuss your criminal charges, call 215-822-7575 or complete our contact form today. For your convenience, we have two offices located in Colmar and Newtown, PA.
Frequently Asked Questions About Criminal Defense
Both arrests and convictions can appear on your permanent criminal record, which can be accessed by potential employers and landlords, among others. If conviction was for a summary arrest, and five years have passed without subsequent arrest or conviction, a criminal defense lawyer can petition to have your record expunged if all conditions to your conviction and punishment have been satisfied. However, certain sex crimes, such as rape and sexual assault, and other violent crimes may not be expunged if the victim was underage when the crime occurred.
Pennsylvania law provides different standards for juveniles who were convicted of crimes and wish to have their records expunged. Expungement may be possible if (1) six months have passed since you completed your punishment, and you have not been arrested again, (2) six months have passed since you completed a diversionary program and no other conviction or adjudications are pending, (3) you have reached age 18, and six months have passed since you satisfied the terms and conditions of a summary conviction, you have not been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor, or adjudicated delinquent, and you have no further pending charges for any felony, misdemeanor or delinquency. The District Attorney also must generally agree to the expungement.