Stafford County Identity Theft Attorney

Identity theft refers to taking the identifying information of another individual and employing that information to obtain money or something of value without permission.

A person should hire an attorney if they are charged with identity theft as it is quite serious and can be charged as a felony that has severe short and long term consequences. Even when someone is charged with a misdemeanor version of identity theft, it is a moral turpitude crime. It involves lying, cheating, or stealing and can have a negative impact on the person’s current and future employment.

When you are being charged with identity fraud then the first step needs to be to take action and contact an experienced Stafford County identity theft attorney. When you contact a knowledgeable Stafford County attorney, they will be able to help you start the defense that will yield the most favorable outcome on your behalf.

Common Offenses

The primary offense in Virginia surrounding identity theft is that the particular statute dealing with identity theft is only one law or statute.

Most of the time people are caught attempting to use the identity of someone else when the true owner of the information or the financial institution they do business with becomes alerted to suspicious activity because of the amount or the location. For example, when someone has a credit card in Virginia and a transaction shows up in California., that raises suspicion.

Consequences

The most immediate consequence of identity theft conviction is that there are criminal records and penalties imposed by the court. In some places, that can include active or suspended jail time, restitution, and fines.

There are many long-term consequences to an identity theft conviction. When it is a felony, the long-term consequences include the loss of civil rights and the loss of the ability to own a firearm. A misdemeanor identity charge is considered to be a crime of moral turpitude. That is a lying, cheating, or stealing offense on a person’s record that might cause them to lose their current employment and makes it difficult in the future for them be employed by anyone who does a criminal background check as part of an interview process. However, the job of a Stafford County identity theft attorney will be to achieve the most favorable outcome of consequences.

Taking a Plea Deal

The time to consider taking a plea deal is always when there is an offer presented that is less risky and has a better outcome than a trial in the opinion of the person’s attorney and the person charged. No one should ever take a plea deal when what is being offered is worse than the most likely consequence of a trial. However, in many cases, it makes sense to take a plea agreement to eliminate the uncertainties of trial and to avoid potentially worse consequence because of the trial.

Procedural Posture

Procedural posture refers to where a person is in the life of the case. It could be the point of the arrest with an advisement hearing coming up. It could the preliminary hearing. The person may already be past those phases and is looking for assistance with the trial phase. Knowing the procedural posture tells a lawyer what steps must be taken immediately and what steps and research on past proceeding should be done.

Contacting a Lawyer

When a person contacts a Stafford County identity theft lawyer, they need all of the papers they received from police, the court, or a magistrate. These documents assist the attorney in determining the particulars of the charges and the procedural posture. In addition, the person should give some thought about what information they shared with anyone. The lawyer looks at the version of events that the police and alleged victims claim happened. It is important to preserve any electronic or other documentary evidence that may shed light on the charges that the person’s lawyer can review to determine if they are helpful and the best tactical way to employ those.