Identity theft is an increasingly common crime not only in Arizona but across the nation. If you are charged with identity theft, you can face serious consequences if you are convicted. Read on to learn more about what identity theft is, the penalties for identity theft, and how the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Arizona Lawyers can defend you against identity theft charges.
What is Identity Theft?
The Arizona Attorney General defines identity theft as when one person takes another person’s personally identifying information and uses that information for their benefit to obtain property. Common examples of identity theft include:
- Using someone else’s social security number to open up a new credit card;
- Signing a check made out to someone else and trying to deposit or cash it;
- Using someone else’s driver’s license or passport information to pretend you are that person; and
- Using someone else’s medical identification numbers to access medical products and services.
What Are the Penalties for Identity Theft?
Regardless of what kind of act forms the basis for your identity theft charge, this is a very serious crime. Even in relatively minor cases, a conviction can carry stiff jail time and large financial penalties. In most cases, restitution will be ordered, which means the person whose identity was stolen will be paid as much as it takes to make them whole again. Further, if you are convicted for identity theft you will likely find it to be very difficult to secure and hold a job in the future.
Under Arizona law, identity theft is a Class 4 felony. This means that while judges have the discretion to raise or lower a sentence based on the severity of the crime, the standard punishment for identity theft is over two years in prison. Arizona takes identity theft crime very seriously, as evidenced by the severity of the punishment. If you have been charged with identity theft, this is not a situation that will go away on its own or that you can handle without competent legal representation. You must contact an experienced Arizona criminal defense attorney immediately if you are charged with this crime.
How Can Arizona Lawyers Defend You?
Identity theft is a very serious crime, but the experienced attorneys at Arizona Lawyers can help. We can look for evidence that helps to prove the person was paying you back or that someone else acted fraudulently and not you. We may also be able to get evidence suppressed so the judge and jury don’t hear about it, as well as discredit witnesses who may testify against you. Further, we may be able to help persuade the prosecution that your crime isn’t as serious as what has been charged and to give you a plea bargain to a lesser crime.
Charged With Identity Theft?
An identity theft charge is no small matter, and if you have been charged with identity theft in Arizona you need to contact one of Arizona Lawyers’s skilled criminal defense attorneys immediately. Our attorneys believe everyone is innocent until proven guilty and will fight to defend your rights and freedoms. If you are charged with identity theft in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa, Yuma, Flagstaff, or Glenndale, contact us today.