Philadelphia Identity Theft Lawyer
Identity theft is considered by law enforcement officials to be a serious crime, and can range anywhere from a Misdemeanor of the first degree to a felony of the second degree, depending on the value of any loss to another person, and whether that person is in a protected class.
Identity Theft Defined
Identity theft is the use of another person’s identifying information, without their permission, for any purpose. This is broad language, put in the statute intentionally by the legislature so that police can charge nearly anyone for using any identifying information.
For example, a person can possess another person’s social security number, but not use it to take money or credit cards out and be charged with misdemeanor identity theft. This would be punishable by up to five years in jail and a $5,000.00 fine. However, if a person uses that social security number to open a credit card with a $5,000.00 credit line, they will be charged with identity theft, graded as a felony of the third degree and punishable by seven years in jail and a $15,000.00 fine because the amount of loss is over $2,000.00.
A person taking any identifying information from a person under 18 or over 60, will get an upgrade in the offense grading. So, if you would have otherwise been charged with a Felony 3, you will be charged with a Felony 2 instead.
Defenses to Identity Theft
Your attorney has a number of defenses to identity theft at his disposal, including permission to use the identifying information and mistaken use. Permission is the most effective defense against this charge because it shows the absence of intent to possess identifying information. This is applicable at the trial level, where your attorney can put on witnesses and evidence showing that the person whose identity you used gave your permission to use their identity.
Many identity theft cases involve the use of another’s identity where the person using it may not know that it was stolen. Our firm has handled a number of these cases, and we may be able to show that you did not know you possessed another person’s identifying information.
Finally, it should be noted that suppression motions to keep out evidence based on lack of probable cause is one of the tools available to your lawyer in these cases and he can challenge the evidence before your case goes to trial. If the evidence is suppressed (thrown out) then prosecutors can’t use it, and your case becomes easier to win.
Identity Theft Lawyer Philadelphia
Our Criminal Defense Lawyers have decades of experience handling identity theft cases, and can help find a way to win your case or get you a much better disposition for you. Call us today.
This content was written on behalf of Greg Prosmushkin.