Identity theft is on the rise as consumers and businesses increasingly conduct their financial transactions online. Additionally, increasing numbers of people immigrating into the US illegally from other countries have led to an explosion of stolen Social Security numbers. As a result, state and federal authorities have renewed efforts to crack down on identity theft and credit card fraud.
As a criminal defense attorney, I represent clients accused of identity theft in relation to credit card fraud, mail fraud, theft of Social Security numbers, and bank fraud. When the prosecution’s evidence is inconsistent, I conduct my own investigation into the charges against my client. I consult with computer experts, forensic accountants, handwriting experts, and other investigative professionals in challenging the evidence against my client. If you have been arrested for identity theft, contact my offices today to see what a difference I can make in the outcome of your case. I will accompany you to any pretrial hearings, negotiations, or police interviews to ensure your rights and interests are protected.
“This man is a very effective Los Angeles criminal defense attorney. I was charged but I never had to go to court because the case was thrown out thanks to his efforts. I was very worried because I didn’t know anyone who could confirm my location, but he was able to prove that I was innocent.” Jason, CA
Identity Theft Attorney
I counsel and defend clients in Los Angeles and throughout the surrounding areas currently under investigation or arrested for committing the following crimes:
- Using stolen credit cards
- Using stolen passwords or PIN numbers at banks
- Mail fraud
- Money laundering
- Stealing Social Security numbers
- Using a stolen Social Security number
- Reporting fraudulent information on loan or credit card applications
Defenses that can be used in your case include that you didn’t use a person’s information unlawfully, that you didn’t have an illegal intention, or that you have been falsely accused. Identity theft can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. If you are convicted of an identity theft felony, you could face up to three years in state prison and have to pay a $10,000 fine. If you face a misdemeanor charge, however, you would only have to spend up to one year in county jail and pay a maximum fine of $1,000.
If you face federal identity theft charges, however, you could face up to 30 years in federal prison and have to pay extremely hefty fines. A person can use identity theft to obtain property, medicine/health benefits, services, goods, credit or money. The dangerous thing is that a person may not have ill will; they just had to act intentionally. Someone could hack a person’s Facebook account, write malicious things posing as the person- and be held liable for identity theft.
Identity theft typically involves the stealing of: information on a birth or death certificate, bank account information, credit card information, school I.D. or employee I.D. information, driver’s license or passport information, tax I.D. or social security number, or the name, date of birth, address or telephone number of an individual. Common examples of identity theft include: using someone else’s name to collect welfare, forging a signature on a check, using someone else’s name / birth date in order to carry out a criminal offense incognito, applying for a mortgage or loan with another person’s information, using someone else’s credit cards to purchase things online or in stores. There are also other schemes where a person hacks a stranger’s email account and asks for money, etc.
Fight your identity theft allegations!
In cases involving identity theft and stolen credit cards or bank account numbers, it’s not uncommon for prosecutors to charge the accused with multiple counts of a crime. Whenever a stolen account number or credit card is used, prosecutors argue that the accused must have been responsible each time. As your attorney, I highlight the lack of hard evidence supporting such a claim. When video footage exists purporting to show my client purchasing merchandise with a stolen credit card, I challenge the quality of the images and conclusions drawn by the prosecution.
If there is very little question concerning your guilt, I work with prosecutors in reaching a plea bargain that reduces the charges or sentence against you. Depending on your criminal history and the circumstances surrounding your arrest, the prosecution may be willing to agree to a reduced sentence in exchange for a guilty plea or testimony against others involved in the crimes. In each instance, I will discuss the options available to you and act according to your wishes. To schedule an appointment to discuss how I can help you, contact my firm as soon as possible!