Fairfax Identity Theft Lawyer
The unauthorized use of another individual’s personal or sensitive information without that individual’s permission is a form of theft referred to as identity theft. Being found guilty of identity theft could result in imprisonment, a fine, or other penalties, such as restitution. If you have been charged with identity theft, it is advisable to seek the assistance of a Fairfax identity theft lawyer.
An experienced attorney who is familiar with fraud cases could offer you legal guidance about how best to deal with identity theft charges. One way a lawyer could potentially help you with your case is to prepare a legal defense to the charges if you end up facing prosecution. A lawyer could also protect your constitutional and due process rights throughout the entire legal process.
Identity Theft and Types of Identifying Information
Identity theft involves the illegal and unauthorized use of another person’s identifying information with the intention of committing fraud. Identifying information can include:
- Date of birth
- Social security number
- Driver’s license or state ID number
- Credit and debit card information
- Bank account information
- Electronic signature
Other types of identifying information include passwords, PINs, electronic identification codes, and biometric data. In general, Virginia Code, Crimes and Offenses §18.2-186.3 prohibits the unauthorized use of any information that could be used to obtain a loan, credit, goods or services, or to gain access to another person’s financial resources. An identity theft attorney in Fairfax could provide additional information about the different types of identifying information protected by law.
Identity Theft and Related Offenses
Several different types of actions constitute identity theft under the law. Examples of identity theft offenses include:
- Using another person’s information to obtain identification documents in that person’s name
- Using another person’s information to obtain credit, a loan, or goods and services
- Using another person’s information to access that individual’s financial resources
- Selling another person’s identifying information to a third party
It is also against the law to obtain or gain access to another person’s identifying information by impersonating a police or law enforcement officer or government official. Such an offense could result in charges of identity theft and impersonation, both of which are crimes involving fraud. A Fairfax lawyer could explain other types of identity theft offenses prohibited by law.
Possible Penalties for an Identity Theft Conviction
The law indicates that a first conviction for identity theft in Fairfax is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor. Subsequent convictions, however, are punished as Class 6 felonies. Further, an identity theft offense that results in financial loss over $500 is also punished as a Class 6 felony even if it is the first conviction.
The penalty for identity theft offenses that are punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanors is up to 12 months imprisonment in jail, a fine of $2,500 or less, or both imprisonment and a fine. The penalty for identity theft offenses punishable as Class 6 felonies is imprisonment for one to five years, a fine of up to $2,500, or both imprisonment and a fine.
There are some other exceptions in which certain types of identity theft are punishable as either Class 4 or Class 5 felonies. A skilled attorney in Fairfax could provide details about specific forms of identity theft that are punishable as a higher felony class. For convictions of any type of identity theft, restitution can also be imposed by the court.
How a Fairfax Identity Theft Attorney Can Help
Attempting to fight identity theft charges on your own could make it more difficult to obtain an outcome you can accept. A Fairfax identity theft lawyer could help you fight for the best possible legal resolution to your situation. If you have been charged with identity and are facing the possibility of prosecution, you owe it to yourself to seek legal guidance. Contact our team today for assistance.