Identity theft is treated as a serious criminal act in Lancaster, CA. Individuals who are accused of stealing another individual’s personal information can face criminal charges in either the state or the federal court system.
You can get assistance handling these charges by contacting an identity theft lawyer in Lancaster as soon as you are arrested. The professionals at the Simmrin Law Group are standing by to begin working on your defense. Let us fight aggressively to resolve the charges you are facing in your favor.
Get Familiar with Identity Theft Charges in Lancaster
You have likely heard the term identity theft used in the news but perhaps wondered precisely what it means. The court system in Lancaster provides a set definition for this criminal act. Individuals may be charged with identity theft if they take the personal information of someone else and:
- Use the personal identifying information for unlawful purposes
- Keep the information with the intent to use it to commit fraud
- Sell or give someone else the information with the intent to commit fraud
- Sell or give someone else the information knowing they’ll use it fraudulently
Note that you should only be charged with identity theft if you use someone else’s personal information without their consent.
Identity Theft Charges and the State Court System
Identity theft can be prosecuted in either the state or federal court system. Let’s discuss state charges for identity theft first, as the state court system generally prosecutes this charge less harshly. California handles identity theft using Penal Code Section 530.5.
Under PC 530.5, you could be charged with identity theft for taking and misusing someone else’s:
- Social security number (SSN)
- School, tax, or employee I.D.
- Driver’s license number
- Financial information, including bank account information
- Address or date of birth
You could be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony if you are prosecuted for identity theft in state court. A misdemeanor conviction could result in:
- Fines of up to $1,000
- Incarceration of up to one year
If you are convicted of a felony, you could face:
- Fines of up to $10,000
- Incarceration of up to three years
You can turn to a criminal defense lawyer in Lancaster if you are charged with identity theft. The professionals at the Simmrin Law Group know what it takes to help you successfully resolve either misdemeanor or felony charges.
Identity Theft Charges and the Federal Court System
The state court system does not prosecute all acts of identity theft. In some cases, these charges can be elevated to federal court. Generally, cases are moved to federal court if they:
- Involve the government of the U.S.
- Involve crossing a state or national border
You may face serious penalties if you are convicted of identity theft in the federal court system. Generally, the penalties are far more severe for federal charges than those used in state court. For this reason, you should contact a federal crimes lawyer in Lancaster right away after you are arrested.
Handling Lancaster Identity Theft Charges the Right Way
You don’t have to try to handle an identity theft accusation in Lancaster on your own. You can get professional help in your corner by reaching out to the Simmrin Law Group right now. Legal professionals are standing by to deal with all aspects of your case. We can:
Defend Your Legal Rights
You will likely be questioned by law enforcement officers and prosecutors after you are arrested. These individuals may try to push you to incriminate yourself. A criminal defense lawyer can stand up for you during all interviews to make sure your rights are respected. We can also monitor the police investigation to make sure they don’t perform illegal searches.
Help You with Bail Hearings
You may be offered a bail hearing after you are arrested for identity theft. This hearing will determine how much bail you have to pay to remain free until your criminal trial. We can take steps to ensure you get the lowest possible bail amount.
Get Your Charges Reduced
Sometimes, identity theft charges may be resolved outside of the court system. We can work to lower your charges. Prosecutors may offer you reduced charges with a plea bargain. However, you should not accept these deals until they are assessed by a legal professional.
Fight for You in Court
In some situations, identity theft accusations must be handled in court. In this case, the professionals at the Simmrin Law Group are ready to fight for you. We understand the strategies that work in both the state and federal court systems in Lancaster.
A Lancaster Identity Theft Lawyer Can Help You
Build a defense for identity theft charges in Lancaster by contacting the Simmrin Law Group today. You can learn more about your legal options right now. Take the first step in defending yourself by completing our online contact form or calling (310) 997- 4688.
Get a FREE initial case evaluation from our identity theft lawyers in Lancaster.