Identity Theft Defense Lawyer
Under 18 U.S.C. § 1028, certain types of Identity Theft are punishable by imprisonment of up to 15 years.
With identity theft on the rise and thieves developing more and more sophisticated means to obtain unauthorized access to people’s personal information, state and federal law enforcement agencies are on high alert for instances of this white collar crime. Many agencies have developed task forces specifically devoted to uncovering and prosecuting identity theft. From members of criminal organizations to individual actors, anyone accused of identity theft is likely to face vigorous prosecution designed to seek maximum punishment for their alleged crime.
Federal Identity Theft Explained
At the federal level, the primary statute that outlaws identity theft is 18 U.S.C. Section 1028. This law identifies eight primary forms of identity theft, which include:
- Producing false identification documents
- Selling a false or stolen identification document
- Knowingly possessing with intent to illegally use or transfer five or more identification IDs
- Using a false identification document to defraud the U.S. Government
- Producing, selling, or using equipment to make fake IDs
- Producing, selling or using someone else’s ID with the intent to commit, aid, or abet, any federal crime or a state felony
- Trafficking in fake IDs
- Knowingly possessing a false or stolen ID issued by the U.S. Government or a sponsoring entity in order to recognize an event of national significance
Within these broad categories, identity theft can take many forms. Examples range from credit card theft and theft of Social Security numbers and other personal information for the purpose of obtaining financial benefits, all the way to offenses involving the use of someone else’s identity to make terror threats or breach homeland security protocols. Regardless of the nature of your alleged offense, we have the experience and resources necessary to fight to keep you out of prison.
Defending Against Identity Theft Charges
At Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP, you will find experienced criminal defense attorneys, former federal prosecutors, and forensic fraud examiners who have chosen to defend those accused of identity theft and other forms of fraud. We are passionate about protecting our clients’ legal rights, and we will stop at nothing in using the justice system to ensure that our clients receive a fair outcome. We have successfully represented individuals facing identity theft, fraud, and other criminal allegations, and we will use our experience on both sides of the courtroom to fight to have your charges dismissed.
Penalties for Identity Theft
The penalties for identity theft – which do include serious prison time – vary depending on the nature of the crime and any other criminal activity involved. The potential punishment for identity theft includes forfeiture of any personal property used in connection with the offense, as well as:
- Fines and up to 15 years of imprisonment in cases involving the production or sale of fake or stolen U.S. identification documents (such as a U.S. Passport), birth certificates, driver’s licenses, or personal identification cards;
- Fines and up to 5 years of imprisonment for production, sale, or use of any false identification document other than those listed in the previous bullet. Note, however, that the maximum prison sentence increases back to 15 years in cases involving five or more fraudulent documents;
- Fines and up to 20 years of imprisonment for use of a false ID in connection with a drug trafficking crime or a crime of violence;
- Fines and up to 20 years of imprisonment for a second offense under 18 U.S.C. Section 1028;
- Fines and up to 30 years of imprisonment in cases involving the use of false identification documents to facilitate acts of domestic or international terrorism.
It is important to note that identity theft cases frequently involve other crimes (such as computer fraud or credit card fraud) as well. If this applies to you, you may be facing numerous charges that could add up to life-changing prison time and insurmountable fines. As a result, if you are under investigation or have been arrested for identity theft, it is important to speak with a defense lawyer as soon as possible. There are steps that can be taken to minimize the consequences of an arrest, but the longer you wait, the more difficult it can become to build the strongest possible defense.
Contact Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP Today
The attorneys at Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP are available to aggressively fight identity theft charges throughout the country. To get started with a free, confidential case evaluation, call our law offices at (888) 727-5154 or contact us online today.