Have you recently been accused of or charged with identity theft? If so, it is imperative that you take steps to clear your name. Not only is your professional reputation on the line, but you could also face harsh criminal penalties if convicted.
Reach out to an experienced identity theft attorney in Irvine for help preparing a powerful defense strategy. Contact our identity theft lawyer in Irvine for a confidential case evaluation today.
Common Types of Identity Theft in Irvine
Identity theft can take many forms. However, there are some types of identity theft we see far more frequently than others. In addition to credit card fraud, there are several other types of identity theft, such as:
- Medical identity theft – If an individual uses someone else’s medical information and identity to obtain medical treatment or care, this is considered a type of identity theft. When medical debts are sent to collections, it can devastate the original party’s credit score and report.
- Tax return identity theft – With tax return identity theft, the fraudster will file a tax return using someone else’s Social Security number and name. Generally, people will not know that their identity has been stolen until they attempt to file their tax return, only to find that it has been rejected.
- Utility identity theft – With utility identity theft, you may have been accused of using another person’s identity to obtain gas, electric, television, or Internet services only two never pay the bill. When this happens, utility services will be shut off and reported to a collection agency which can adversely impact the original party’s credit report and score.
These are just a few different types of identity theft our firm is prepared to defend against. If you face another kind of identity theft charge in Irvine, do not hesitate to contact the Simmrin Law Group to discuss your potential defenses.
For a free legal consultation with a identity theft lawyer serving Irvine, call (310) 928-9347
Penalties of an Irvine Identity Theft Conviction
The consequences you will face if you are convicted of identity theft in Irvine could vary widely depending on the specific details of your case and the type of criminal offense you are charged with. Identity theft could be considered a wobbler offense. This means it could be charged at the misdemeanor or felony level based on the specific circumstances of your case.
For example, if you are convicted of misdemeanor identity theft, you could face fines as high as $1,000 or up to one year in county jail. Alternatively, if you are convicted of felony identity theft, you could face fines as high as $10,000 and up to three years in a California state prison.
There is also a chance that you could face federal identity theft charges depending on the scope of the offense and other aggravating or mitigating factors in your case. If you are prosecuted at the federal level, the penalties you will face will be far more severe than if your case had been prosecuted at the state level.
Collateral Consequences of a Guilty Identity Theft Verdict
When you are found guilty of identity theft in Irvine, it is not only the prison time, jail time, and fines you need to be concerned about. There are many ways a conviction could impact your life.
For example, suppose you have a pending child custody or visitation case. In that case, identity theft charges could strip you of your rights or adversely impact your ability to retain your child custody or visitation rights. Other potential fallouts of an identity theft conviction in Irvine include:
- The potential for deportation or other immigration issues
- Trouble finding or maintaining gainful employment
- Difficulty obtaining safe or affordable housing
- The fallout of a destroyed professional reputation
- The requirement that you complete community service hours
- Being ordered to pay restitution to any victims in your case
- Completion of court-ordered mental health counseling or group therapy
- Regular meetings with a probation or parole officer
- Loss of firearm rights in California
Irvine Identity Theft Lawyer Near Me (310) 928-9347
How to Challenge the Identity Theft Allegations Against You
When you have been accused of identity theft, it may be essential to challenge the allegations against you. Your attorney will need to closely evaluate the evidence the prosecutor has against you to determine which defense is most likely to produce a favorable outcome in your case.
Some potential defenses that could be used to defend against identity theft accusations include:
- False accusations
- Mistake of fact
- Unlawful stop
- Illegal search and seizure
- Lack of probable cause
- Failure to read you your Miranda Rights
- Lack of intent
- Police misconduct
- Procedural errors
These are just a few of the different ways you may be able to defend yourself when you have been arrested and charged with an identity theft offense in Irvine. You can learn more about which defenses may be most suited for your case when you contact your identity theft attorney for help.
Are Plea Agreements or Pretrial Diversion Programs an Option?
It is possible that you may be able to avoid having to present a compelling defense strategy in court. However, your attorney will need to work with the Irvine prosecuting attorney to determine whether you are eligible for a plea agreement or pretrial diversion program. If you are eligible for a pretrial diversion program, there will be specific requirements you will need to meet.
You must fulfill the terms of your pretrial diversion program to get the charges against you dismissed or dropped. However, to qualify, you must be a first-time, non-violent offender. If you are unsure whether you are eligible for pretrial diversion, do not hesitate to contact your attorney to find out.
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Contact an Identity Theft Lawyer in Irvine for Help Today
When you are facing identity theft charges at the misdemeanor or felony level, it is critical to take action to defend yourself. Reach out to an experienced Irvine identity theft attorney at the Simmrin Law Group for help today.
Our firm proudly offers no-cost, risk-free consultations to those facing identity theft charges across Irvine and the state of California. Claim yours when you call our identity theft lawyers in Irvine or complete our online contact form.