Have You Been Accused Of Identity Theft? What To Do

Law Blog

There are several ways people could commit identity fraud, and there are many reasons people may use for doing so. This type of offense makes its targets feel violated and causes them to have trust issues, so it is not a victim-less crime. If you have been accused or charged with committing such a violation, it could ruin your reputation, damage personal relationships, seriously affect your employ-ability, and could result in incarceration, so you should not take it lightly.

Being Clear on What the Accusation is

There are five main ways identity theft is often committed, and a couple of them are common practices by people who are feeling desperate. These are:

  • Identifying yourself as someone else to the police when being issued a ticket for a driving violation. Some people do this to avoid being arrested because they have an outstanding warrant for a more serious crime in their own name, or they are driving illegally. 
  • Finding/stealing someone's identification and/or blank checks and committing check fraud.
  • Recording customers' credit card information by wait staff or cashiers for later fraudulent use. Just the act of writing numbers and names down is considered a crime.
  • Using someone else's private information to obtain credit, property, or utilities. People sometime use children's names, or elderly parents' information to obtain these things.
  • Using computer hacking methods to steal funds from someone's bank accounts.

Consider your Victims If You Are Guilty

If you have done any of these or similar things, you may have thought you would be able to fix it later, or rationalized it in some other way, but many of these things can do lasting damage to your victim's criminal record, financial standing, and reputation. So even victims you are close to might rightly be disposed to exact some tough love and press charges against you.

In one instance, a person had lost their license due to a DUI conviction so she said she didn't have her license on her, and gave her sister's information to the police when she was stopped for a speeding violation. The sister didn't own a car at the time, so she wasn't carrying auto insurance. The infraction caused the victim to lose her own driver's license along with having to pay a ticket she wasn't responsible for. Something like this can cause someone you care about much frustration and take a lot of time to clear up, so if you ever gave a friend's or relative's name to avoid being arrested, you need to take responsibility by contacting the authorities and clear his/her name.

If you have defrauded relatives or your children by getting utility services or obtaining some other thing of value in their names, you need to clear it up with the businesses involved, and work hard to make restitution so that the damage can be repaired.

What to Do If You Have Been Charged

You should obtain the services of a criminal lawyer from a firm likeDimeo Law Offices if you have been received identity theft charges. Depending on the state and the nature of the offence, this could be a felony charge and conviction could result in several years of prison time. Fines for this crime can be significant and restitution may also be ordered to compensate the victim(s).

If this is your first offense, it may be possible for your attorney to get the charges lowered, and probation could be offered in place of jail or prison time.

If you are innocent of defrauding anyone, your defense would involve creating a reasonable doubt that you could have done, or would have done, this crime. It could be that someone else has been responsible for the losses, mistakes have been made, or you were coerced in some way.

In a case of employee or customer fraud, if you have a clean criminal record, and police have found no stolen materials or other evidence in your possession, you may be eventually cleared, even though your co-workers could be found guilty.

To recap: if you are guilty of this crime, take responsibility for your actions and make restitution. Hire a criminal lawyer if you have felony fraud charges pending against you, and cooperate with your attorney to mount a good defense (if you are innocent), or to negotiate an acceptable plea arrangement. 


16 January 2015

Choosing To Fight

Although I am far from perfect, I have focused on abiding by the local laws for the vast majority of my life. Unfortunately, about five years ago, I realized that I was being accused of a crime that I didn't commit. I thought about letting the trial run its course, but then I realized that fighting would be important to ensure my future. I teamed up with a great lawyer, and things became much easier overnight. My legal counsel told me what to do and what to avoid, and he was able to prove the facts in a court of law. This blog is all about choosing to fight charges.