DC Identity Theft Lawyer
Crimes such as identity theft affect millions of people each year, and authorities who investigate these crimes often cast a wide net, sometimes implicating innocent people. In other cases, a person may not understand that their online actions may amount to criminal identity theft. The criminal penalties associated with identity theft can be extremely serious, so it is important that anyone who is facing such allegations consult with an experienced DC identity theft lawyer as soon as possible.
A DC identity theft attorney is well-qualified to answer your questions regarding identity theft and is equally well-qualified to serve as your representative in court. Their work in the district gives them keen insight into the specifics of identity theft crimes in the region as well as a connection with DC judges and prosecutors. Those strong working relationships can be beneficial when arguing for a reduction or elimination of your charges. Those ties also are key to understanding what sort of strategy the authorities may employ when prosecuting your case, and to using that insight to craft the strongest possible defense against those strategies.
What is Considered Identity Theft
Identity theft refers to a broad range of conduct that involves an individual stealing data or other information in order to pretend to be some other person. To a large extent, identity theft is defined by ever-changing cyber and internet security trends. In most cases, identity theft is financially motivated and often involves attempts to wrongfully obtain credit or access a person’s assets. Some common examples of conduct that may constitute identity theft include the use of another person’s name, social security number, credit card account, or credentials in order to engage in fraudulent activity.
Identity theft is defined as theft involving a person who knowingly:
- Uses personal identifying information belonging to or pertaining to another person to obtain, or attempt to obtain, property fraudulently and without that person’s consent
- Obtains, creates, or possesses personal identifying information belonging to or pertaining to another person with the intent to:
- Use the information to obtain, or attempt to obtain, property fraudulently and without that person’s consent
- Give, sell, transmit, or transfer the information to a third person to facilitate the use of the information by that third person to obtain, or attempt to obtain, property fraudulently and without that person’s consent
- Uses personal identifying information belonging to or pertaining to another person, without that person’s consent, to:
- Facilitate or conceal their commission of a crime
- Identify oneself at the time of their arrest
- Avoid detection, apprehension, or prosecution for a crime
There has been an increase in the digitization of records as well as an explosion in the amount of commerce that is conducted online. These developments have made it easier for unscrupulous parties to both obtain sensitive data about other people as well as impersonate their victims.
Unfortunately, it has also made it easier for law enforcement to ensnare innocent people into an investigation, often bringing baseless charges against individuals who have not done anything wrong. Potential legal consequences that can be associated with allegations of identity theft include fines, restitution, probation, or incarceration.
There are many different factors that may motivate a person to steal another’s identity. In addition to purely financial motives, such as gaining access to another’s assets or obtaining credit in someone else’s name, a person may use another’s identity to:
- Provide a false name to law enforcement officials. This type of theft is often not discovered until much later when the victim receives a court summons or a notice of a warrant for failure to appear at a court date.
- Obtain medical care or services. In addition to the financial consequences of this type of identity theft, victims also may have to deal with incorrect information being added to their medical records.
- Establish credit in a child’s name. Child identity theft is becoming increasingly common. Because social security numbers of children have no information associated with them yet, identity thieves are able to engage in long-term and often extensive fraud before the theft is discovered.
- Establish utility services under a false identity. Sometimes people steal the identity of others in order to establish services such as electric, cable, gas, or internet services without paying. Usually, these types of services may go unpaid for months before they are discontinued, meaning that victims of utility identity theft may receive bills in the hundred or even thousands of dollars for services they did not receive.
Working with an Identity Theft Attorney
Often, cases of identity theft are investigated for weeks or even months before any action is taken. If you are under suspicion of engaging in identity theft, you may be interviewed by law enforcement officials or asked to turn over your computer or other personal items. An attorney can help ensure that your rights are protected and that you are treated fairly. Should a case be brought against you, the representation of an experienced DC identity theft lawyer is essential in making sure your case comes to the best resolution possible.
While no reputable attorney or firm can guarantee a positive outcome, you can rest assured knowing that you will have a dedicated and driven professional who is as passionate about the law as they are about fighting for your rights and reputation.