As identity theft is increasingly focused on in the news, law enforcement has also begun to enforce and punish a greater amount of identity theft cases. The Bureau of Justice reports that 17.6 million individuals experienced identity theft in 2014. Identity theft is actually a broad category of activity that includes the improper use of another's identity for fraudulent purposes. When individuals face an identity theft charge, it often proves essential to contact an experienced Alabama identity theft lawyer to help defend against these accusations. In addition to the services of experienced legal counsel, there are also some essential things that individuals should know concerning identity theft charges in the state of Alabama.
Activities That Constitute Identity Theft In The State of Alabama
There are actually several types of activity that constitute identity theft including the following: check forgery, claiming the rights of a minor to obtain certain advantages, counterfeiting, cyber scams, false use of credit cards, forgery, mail theft, posing as another individual when caught committing a crime, and using another person's identity in order to obtain medical treatment.
In the state of Alabama, an individual is found to commit identity theft when the individual uses identifying information to assist in obtaining financial resources, uses goods or services by wielding the identity of a victim, or obtains any type of documentation in a victim's name. For identity theft to be charged, an individual must perform any of these activities without the consent of the victim and with the intent to defraud.
The term “identity information” include several categories including: credit card numbers, date of birth, driver's license number, financial services account details, fingerprints, name, social security number, passwords, and a variety of other types of information.
How Is Identity Theft Punished
Identity theft is punished as a Class C felony in the state of Alabama, which means that an individual charged with identity theft could face between one to ten years in a state prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
It Is Wise To Contact An Identity Theft Attorney As Soon As Possible
Many individuals who are charged with identity theft know well in advance that an arrest is likely. A charge of identity theft often occurs after a thorough investigation by law enforcement. By retaining the services of legal counsel early, an individual greatly decreases the potential for negative consequences to result from an identity theft charge.
Available Defenses to Identity Theft
There are several ways that an individual can defend against an identity theft charge. If an individual obtained identity information from an individual but never intended to use this information for fraud then an individual is not guilty of committing identity theft. In other situations, a skilled identity theft lawyer can help individuals mitigate the charges brought against an individual in order to obtain the best potential results.
If you or a loved one faces identity theft charges in the state of Alabama, it is important to contact an experienced identity theft lawyer like the Eversole Law Offices to ensure that immediately begin minimizing the severity of any potential charges.