The use of online banking, e-mail, social media, and the internet in general has made identity theft a highly prosecuted crime over the past couple of decades. The crime of identity theft requires that someone steals another person’s identity by using their personal information (e.g. Social Security number, birthdate, name) for fraudulent purposes or financial gain. If convicted of identity theft, you could face serious consequences, particularly if the victim is an elderly or disabled person, or military person.
Identity theft can occur in a variety of ways. In many cases, a perpetrator accesses someone’s bank account or credit card and fraudulently makes purchases or withdraws money. They may also use the victim’s identity to take out loans and new credit cards, thereby destroying the victim’s credit.
There are also many identity theft cases that involve stealing someone’s medical identity to make false insurance claims. In some cases, the perpetrator may even use several victims’ information to create an entirely new identity to open accounts, acquire goods and services, and engage in other fraudulent activity.
Defending against identity theft can be difficult, but an experienced attorney may be able to help. The best way to defend against your charges is to prove that you did not have the requisite intent to commit identity fraud. Also remember it is the prosecutor’s job to prove that you committed the crime, so you can also defend yourself by showing that the prosecutor lacks the necessary evidence to convict you. Regardless of the type of crime you’ve been accused of, it’s important to have experienced legal guidance.