Virginia Identity Theft Lawyer
Identity theft is a crime where a person’s identifying information is taken and used to procure goods or services in that person’s name. Identity theft can involve the theft of a person’s name, social security number, date of birth, and all of those things can be used to procure new credit cards or new lines of credits, perhaps goods and services from a retail outlet.
If you are facing charges for identity theft in Virginia, an experienced fraud attorney can give you peace of mind by clarifying the facts of your case. A Virginia identity theft lawyer can help you prepare your defense towards your preferable outcome.
Anything that involves the thief or the fraudster using their name and their identifying information to gain something financially is considered identity theft in Virginia. Identity theft is a wide-ranging area of law that can really encompass several different types of behavior but the one thing that they have in common is that the thief or fraudster is using a person’s name or identifying information to accomplish their crime.
The most common thing Virginia identity theft lawyers see is either check fraud or credit card fraud. This is where people build checks or credit cards and then report to be the person to whom the checks or credit cards are issued in effort to pass on those checks or credit cards to gain some financial advantage whether it be actual money, goods, or services.
Generally speaking, identity theft is not a crime in Virginia that has charges on its own. Virginia identity theft is a charge that gets thrown on top of other charges where the person’s identity has been used such as in credit card theft and/or fraud or check theft and/or fraud. Usually, a count or two of identity theft will be added on top of whatever charges the person is already facing once it becomes clear to the identity theft investigating authorities that a person’s identity was in fact stolen and used for criminal purposes.
Consequences of Identity Theft
Because identity theft is very often tacked on to current charges, the immediate consequences of a Virginia identity theft conviction can include jail time because there is one more criminal charge that a person has to worry about and when courts see multiple convictions, even if it arises from the same transaction or set of transactions, usually the court is more inclined to give active jail time.
Virginia identity theft, especially these days, is considered to be one of the things that regular people are perhaps the most afraid of; the proliferation of the internet and scams that have become associated with internet transactions put people on edge. If someone is trying to get a job after they put all of the immediate consequences of identity theft conviction behind them, people are often leery of trusting that person down the line since they have already violated the trust of an unsuspected person in the past.
Considering a Plea Deal
Every single identity theft case is different and every criminal defendant is different in terms of what they can accept and what they can move on from in their life but as a general rule, nobody should ever consider taking a plea deal for an identity theft charge unless their attorney informs them that the government appears to be able to prove their case. That is always a test used when evaluating a plea offer that has been made by the government.
An attorney will look at the litigation risk, which is how likely or unlikely it is that they prevail if they go to trial. If it looks like the odds of a successful trial are not great then the client should consider engaging in plea negotiations. If it looks like it is a close case and the charge for identity theft could go either way, that is when the difficult decision must be made. Taking a plea deal that could guarantee a much lesser immediate impact on that person versus the risk of going to trial and suffering worse immediate consequences to that conviction.
Working with a Virginia Identity Theft Lawyer
In the first consultation, a Virginia identity theft lawyer wants to know the client’s perspective on what happened, and they want to know what the client believes that the government can prove, and they want to know what statements, if any, the client made to the police or to anyone else who had knowledge of the charges against them. Those are the critical things that an identity theft lawyer needs to know right up front.
Identity theft law is complicated because of the types of things that the government needs to prove having an identity theft lawyer who has handled identity theft cases before is critical to gaining a positive outcome and finding an identity theft lawyer early on in the process when the person knows they are being investigated and that can be of great assistance.