Identity theft occurs when the perpetrator uses the identity of another person without their knowledge or permission. Stealing another person’s identity allows the thief to obtain services or goods, or another valuable commodity.
Identity theft can be charged as either a state or federal offense, and in either situation, you need the right defense representation. If you are facing federal identity theft charges in the San Marcos area, you need a criminal defense attorney who has experience in federal court.
Two laws allow federal prosecutors to seek harsh penalties for identity theft crimes. These laws include the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act and the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act.
This federal law makes it unlawful for anyone to use or transfer, without authorization, another person’s identifying details with the intent to commit an illegal activity. This can apply to the theft of many types of information.
This legislation includes provisions that prevent and reduce identity theft activities. These aids allow consumers to add fraud alerts to their credit files. Consumers can request free credit annually to ensure that their credit has not been stolen and compromised.
Additionally, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is responsible for enforcing federal laws related to identity theft. The FTC works in collaboration with other law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute identity theft cases.
In some instances, identity theft cases may involve multiple jurisdictions or interstate transactions, which further establishes the federal government’s authority to intervene. The use of the internet or other forms of electronic communication in perpetrating identity theft can also elevate the crime to a federal offense, as it may involve violations of federal laws related to fraud, wire fraud, or computer crimes.
Overall, while identity theft is typically investigated and prosecuted at the state level, it can escalate to a federal crime if certain conditions are met, such as the involvement of federal agencies, interstate activity, or violations of federal laws.
Federal identity theft penalties can be severe, and the specific penalties vary based on the circumstances and severity of the offense. Convictions for federal identity theft can result in significant fines and imprisonment.
The fines can range from thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the extent of the fraud. Imprisonment sentences can range from several years to decades, particularly if the identity theft involves aggravating factors or is part of a larger criminal enterprise.
Repeat offenders or those involved in organized identity theft schemes may face even harsher penalties. It is crucial to remember that federal identity theft penalties are determined on a case-by-case basis and can be influenced by the unique circumstances of each situation.
Whether you face state or federal charges, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. Speak with an attorney now. Contact the Mendoza Law Firm to review your case.
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