With the popularity of the Internet today, it is becoming easier for people to fall victim to identity thieves. These people steal bank account and credit card information along with personal information that is used to open up new accounts. In the U.S. particularly, along with the rest of the world, this problem continues to be big and out of control. Even with the most advanced computer software and personal safety precautions, anyone can still become a victim. That is why an identity theft charge is a serious one that must fought with a strong lawyer’s help.
What is Identity Theft?
First, it is important to understand everything that entails identity theft. It is like any other theft, but it involves stealing another person’s identity and pretending to be him or her. Identity thieves usually use another name and identity to access a bank account or credit card information. Other times, they use another’s identity to fill out documents that they would not have been able to do with their own identity. These documents include job applications, social security applications and visa registrations. Some people steal identities simply so they can become other people and live phony lives.
Thieves steal this information in various ways. The most common place these days is the Internet. They have high-tech software programs that allow them to hack into people’s computers, track their movements online and capture their web pages into digital images. Some of them stand too close behind people at ATMs or bank lines. Others may simply snoop into people’s purses or steal their personal belongings. They know when to strike and how to strike to get away with their crimes.
There are certain punishments that are included with the act of identity theft. The Identity Theft Deterrence Act determines which acts are considered to be identity theft. On a federal level, criminals can receive sentences that vary from 5 to 30 years in addition to fines. Each state has differing laws on identity theft. In New York, for instance, there is a charge of identity theft in the first, second and third degree along with aggravated identity theft. The punishments vary from being misdemeanors to felonies, based on the depth of the theft. As the accused, you could spend up to 10 years in prison for a single charge.
Steps That We Take
Any good criminal defense lawyer knows how to deal with the prosecutor, judge and jury. The main goal is to reduce the severity of the crime. Usually, this tactic comes with the use of evidence. All experienced lawyers know how to use evidence for their gain. They collect as much evidence as they can to prove that their client is innocent. Otherwise, they argue that there is not enough evidence to prove the client’s guilt. Nearly all forms of identity theft come with the use of documents. Forms and documents must be filled out for identity theft to be committed, such as bank account applications, credit card forms and ATM receipts. If the lawyer can show that their accused clients had no connection to this evidence, they can prove that there is no basis for the trial and set the client free. Only a lawyer knows how to gather the evidence, sort through all of the forms and come up with the best defense for any kind of identity theft accusation.
Identity Theft is a Problem That Requires a Good Defense
Identity theft is a continual problem in the U.S. that many people have heard about on TV, over the Internet and in brochures. Identity theft is a serious charge that could come with a felony and prison time. Not every accused person can defend oneself. You need a lawyer who has handled identity theft cases in the past and can help you. Raisee & Kenniff are attorneys who care about your rights and freedoms, so make the right choice by having the right professional on your side.