Virginia Federal Identity Theft Lawyer
In recent years, “identity theft” has become a buzz word, and federal legislators ascribe heavy penalties to acts in violation of the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act and federal identity theft statutes. If you are accused of falsely appropriating another’s identity or misusing someone else’s identification information, a Virginia federal identity theft lawyer can provide the legal counsel and representation you need in the federal court system. Call and speak with a Virginia federal fraud lawyer today to learn more.
How a Federal Attorney Can Help
It’s important to remember that federal charges are quite a bit different than those prosecuted by the authorities in a given state. Federal offenses are a great deal more serious, and when it comes to identity theft, it usually means that a person is being accused of committing crimes that in some way cross state borders.
When you’re facing these types of charges, it’s crucial to work with someone who has experience defending clients in the federal court where your charges will be heard. It’s likely that your case will be handled by aggressive federal prosecutors who have excellent investigative resources, which is why it’s important to be proactive with your defense strategy.
The Virginia federal identity theft attorneys at our firm understand the gravity of your situation, and we are ready to get to work conducting an independent investigation to start building your case.
About Federal Identity Theft Charges
The term “identity theft” makes it sound as if one person attempts to physically personify another and live life under an assumed name. Although that can be the case, identity theft far more frequently refers to the unauthorized collection of personally identifying information in order to open financial accounts or take over existing accounts.
How is Personal Information Compromised?
This information—which may include name, birth date, social security number, address, account numbers, and PIN numbers—is illegally obtained in a variety of ways, including manipulation, high-tech skimming devices, among other methods.
- Obtaining credit cards and driver’s licenses from stolen wallets or purses
- Email phishing schemes soliciting account information or identity information from entities purporting to be reputable businesses or organizations
- Installing credit card skimmers on gas pumps and automated teller machines
- Using handheld skimmers to collect credit card information at restaurants and retailers
- Hacking into a retailer’s computer systems to obtain consumer information
- Diverting or stealing mail or “dumpster diving” to find financial information in a person’s trash
Identity theft is subject to federal prosecution under not only federal identity theft laws, but also fraud laws related to the use of the unauthorized information.
A Virginia federal identity theft attorney will explain the specific charges you face and represent you in fighting those charges before the United States District Court for the Eastern or Western District of Virginia.
Federal Identity Theft Laws
The United States Government prohibits and penalizes identity theft under 18 U.S. Code § 1028. The subsequent statute, §1028A, deals with aggravated identity theft in relation to committing certain other offenses. It mandates a penalty of up to two years in prison to run consecutively with sentencing for the underlying crime:
- Embezzlement or theft of public funds
- False personation of citizenship
- False statements in acquiring a firearm
- Fraud and false statements
- Mail fraud, bank fraud , or wire fraud
- Fraud in nationality or citizenship
- Fraud in securing a passport or visa
- Obtaining consumer information through false pretense
- Failing to leave the country after deportation or creating a counterfeit alien registration card
- Other immigration offenses
- Social Security fraud
Key to the burden of proof on federal prosecutors is the element that these offenses are committed “knowingly” and with the intent to defraud or commit a crime.
Contacting a Federal Identity Theft Lawyer
Facing federal charges can be frightening. It helps to know you have an experienced advocate in your corner. To speak with a Virginia federal identity theft lawyer, call to schedule a free initial consultation.