When you are charged with identity theft, false personation, or identity fraud, it can harbor serious legal repercussions. But when you have been wrongfully accused of identity theft, you need a strong criminal defense attorney who can defend you and seek the most favorable outcomes. In other words, you need the identity theft lawyers at Mazzoni Valvano Szewczyk & Karam.
Under Pennsylvania law, an individual has committed identity theft when he or she possesses or uses, through any means, identifying information of another without the consent of that person for any unlawful purpose.
Often, an individual will commit identity theft for financial gain. Because of this, the grading of the offense is dependent on the value of any property or services obtained by that identity.
However, when the victim of identity theft is 60 years of age or older, a care-dependent person, or an individual under 18 years of age, the grading of the offense shall be one grade higher than specified above.
In Pennsylvania, identity information can include social security numbers, credit cards, insurance information, bank account information, and cell phone service, as well as information such as date of birth.
Each time a transaction is made using another’s information, you can face an additional identity theft charge. For each charge, you will face harsh penalties, including charges related to credit card fraud or forgery.
Examples of identity theft include:
Identity theft penalties come in various forms and the grading of the crime will determine the penalty given. Our identity theft attorneys explain.
For misdemeanors, you may face five years’ incarceration and a fine of up to $10,000. For felonies of the third or second degree, you may face a fine of up to $25,000 and a prison sentence of up to ten years. In extreme cases, you could be fined hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars, as well as sentenced to up to 30 years in prison.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and local law enforcement agencies often investigate claims of identity theft for financial gain when the value of the crime is that large. In this regard, the government will weigh several elements to determine the sentence, including:
Additionally, the presence of these aggravating factors also impacts the resulting identity theft penalties.
Being wrongfully accused of identity theft in PA can have devastating consequences on your life. Under such circumstances, you must contact experienced identity theft lawyers without delay.
If you have been wrongfully accused of identity theft, you should know that our identity theft lawyers have defenses ready to use for you. You do not want a criminal record for a crime you did not commit. Potential identity theft defenses include:
Because of the complexity of these cases and the skill needed to provide identity theft defense, you need a legal team of identity theft attorneys with a proven track record of success in these white-collar offenses.
Identity theft is when someone uses your personal information (name, address, Social Security Number, driver’s license, or banking information) to open accounts or commit fraud without your knowledge.
Additionally, assuming a false identity to purchase goods/services or avoid regular payments can be considered identity theft. Once identity thieves have your personal information, they can go on a crime spree by doing things such as:
The task of recovering your identity can be a labor-intensive, time-consuming affair. You will have to communicate with several agencies to do damage control. Given your state of mind, it can be difficult to go through the hassle alone.
An identity theft lawyer can help you communicate with these agencies and advise you on all the remedies available to you under federal law.
On the other hand, if you have been falsely accused of identity theft, an identity theft attorney will go the distance to clear your name. We can establish an alibi, and break through the prosecution’s accusations to show that you were the victim.
If you believe you are a victim of identity theft in PA, here are a few steps you can take.
There are several types of damages available to victims of identity theft in PA. A few examples include compensatory damages (for money lost as a result of the identity theft), punitive damages (assessed to discourage future wrongdoings), and equitable relief (prohibits a defendant from performing similar acts in the future).
Furthermore, the defendant may also be incarcerated, depending on the severity of the situation. That’s why it’s crucial to hire a competent identity theft defense attorney to successfully plead your case if you feel you have been wrongfully charged. The attorneys at Mazzoni Valvano Szewczyk & Karam will stand firmly by your side and fight to protect your best interests.
Identity theft charges can be very overwhelming and intimidating. Even if you have been wrongfully accused, you still need legal counsel on your side as you proceed.
Our team of criminal defense attorneys will investigate the allegations against you. This includes carefully reviewing the prosecution’s evidence and conducting independent research to uncover the truth.
You have rights. We can fight for them. Call (570) 348-0776 and schedule a free case evaluation. Contact Mazzoni Valvano Szewczyk & Karam.
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