Portsmouth Identity Theft Lawyer

In Portsmouth, it is against the law to defraud a person or institution using identifying information belonging to another. This crime is known as identity theft. This form of fraud could occur when a person opens a bank account, applies for a credit card, or even obtains a tax return while posing as someone else.

If you have been accused of identity theft, it is best to seek help from a knowledgeable attorney. A dedicated fraud attorney could assist you in building a strong defense against the charges. The sooner you contact a Portsmouth identity theft lawyer, the sooner you could begin fighting back against the charges.

Fraud Offenses Using Identifying Information

The types of identifying information commonly used to commit fraud are numerous. While the cases that catch the public’s attention often involve social security or credit card numbers, any identifying information could qualify. If a piece of private data about a person could be used to defraud someone, doing so could lead to a criminal charge. Some common forms of identifying information used in these crimes include:

  • Social security numbers
  • Workplace ID badges
  • Phone numbers and addresses
  • Birthdates
  • Credit card numbers
  • Driver’s license numbers
  • Internet passwords

There are many ways a person could obtain this information. Some identifying information, like addresses and phone numbers, are often publically available. In other cases, a perpetrator could obtain a social security or credit card number by stealing a neighbor’s mail.

Portsmouth Identity Theft Laws

The statute that governs identity theft is Code of Virginia 18.2-186.3. While this statute directly outlaws obtaining a thing of value using the identifying information of another person, it also covers other circumstances. For example, it is a violation to access non-public identifying information of another person if it could assist the perpetrator in obtaining financial benefits.

Likewise, the statute also makes it a crime to obtain or create identification in the name of another person. This violates the identity theft statute even if the person has not used fake identification in any way. Selling or trading fake identification is also covered.

Identity theft is treated as a Class 1 misdemeanor. It carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a fine of $2,500. There are ways to increase this charge to a felony, however. For example, identify theft that results in more than $500 of financial loss for the victim is a Class 6 felony. A Portsmouth attorney could provide anyone facing identity theft charges with a thorough understanding of these potential penalties.

Speak with a Portsmouth Identity Theft Attorney

Identity theft is a complex charge. Often, the incident in question is a simple mistake or misunderstanding. Let an experienced attorney help your case.

A Portsmouth identity theft lawyer could advocate on your behalf and help you fight the charges. Call today to schedule a consultation and to get started building your defense.