Identity theft is a growing crime in the United States in which someone obtains personal information, such as a social security number, and uses that information fraudulently for gain. A conviction on charges relating to identity theft can carry severe penalties. Posing as another person for any fraudulent purpose can lead to probation and substantial fines, as well as possible jail time. Unfortunately, victims of identity theft are left to clean up the mess and try to restore their good name and reputation.
Identity theft in California can be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the evidence and severity of the identity theft offense. Misdemeanor punishments under California Penal Code 530.5 PC, which is the law governing identity theft in California, include up to one year in county jail and a maximum $1,000 fine. Felony convictions for identity theft in California can include up to three years in prison and maximum fines of $10,000.Identity Theft Consequences
The Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act of 2004 caused the federal punishments for identity theft to increase based on aggravated circumstances. For example, the Act added two years to prison sentences for anyone convicted of using a credit card number or other personal data to commit a crime.
Since many cases of identity theft involve not only stealing personal information, but also the use of stolen credit card numbers to obtain goods or services, the cases can fall under the category of theft laws too. Depending on the value of the goods or services obtained with the stolen information, prosecutors can file additional theft-related charges.Experienced Identity Theft Defense Attorneys
If you, a friend or a loved one have been accused of taking someone's identity, we can help!
At Hoffman & Associates, we represent clients charged with identity theft offenses in a wide variety of contexts. As an example, our firm can help if you are facing charges of identity theft in connection with obtaining false or counterfeit government documents, including drivers’ licenses, social security cards, birth certificates and credit cards.
Whether you are facing a misdemeanor or felony charge of identity theft, the charges should be taken very seriously. It is always in your best interest to be represented by an experienced attorney who understands the nuances of identity theft charges and can protect your freedom and good record.
With over 30 years of daily courtroom experience, our lawyers regularly appear in California courts to represent clients facing charges related to identity theft. The laws are complex, but there are several defenses our skilled defense attorneys can present on your behalf to help you avoid harsh sentencing, penalties, or fines. We offer reasonable rates, payment plans. Contact us today and let us help protect you against identity theft conviction.