Virginia Beach Identity Theft Lawyer

Identify theft is an offense that involves the unauthorized use of another person’s name or identification. Often, these charges go hand in hand with other fraud-related crimes. These charges bring severe penalties that can change your life forever. Discussing these charges with a seasoned theft attorney is the first step in protecting your freedom.

If you have been accused of identity theft, you should seek help from a seasoned fraud attorney who has handled cases involving the unauthorized use of another’s identification. A Virginia Beach identity theft lawyer could review the facts of the case and help you build a defense against the charges.

Defining Identity Theft

The actions that could constitute identity theft are broad. They could include involving the use of another person’s name, fingerprints, social security number, credit card number, date of birth, or driver’s license in furtherance of a criminal act. This involves using the false identity to obtain goods or services. This could result in the theft of property being held in the name of the alleged victim. In other cases, identity theft could allow a perpetrator to incur debt using the falsified identity.

Virginia Code Section 18.2-186.3 defines identity theft under Commonwealth law. Fraudulent acts that qualify as identity theft under the statute include using stolen personal information to:

  • Obtain private financial information,
  • Receive money, loans, or credit only available using the false identity,
  • Obtain government-issued documents under the false name, or
  • Access personal information while impersonating a state official.

A skilled Virginia Beach identity theft attorney could help the defendant understand their rights and legal options following an arrest or accusation of a criminal offense.

Penalties of a Conviction

A conviction for identity theft is a Class 1 misdemeanor that carries a maximum jail sentence of one year. However, there are aggravating factors that can elevate the charge to a felony offense.

If the act of identity theft results in a financial loss of at least $500, the offense becomes a Class 6 felony. A second offense for identity theft, regardless of the value of the financial loss is also treated as a Class 6 felony.

In certain circumstances, identity theft is a Class 5 felony offense. This is the case when the defendant is found to have obtained the personal information of at least five people in furtherance of a criminal act. Additionally, using a stolen identity to avoid arrest or impede prosecution is also a Cass 5 felony. In limited cases, a defendant will face Class 4 felony charges if they use the personal identification information of 50 people of more.

Following a conviction, a defendant could also be on the hook for restitution. Restitution involves paying back the financial losses of anyone harmed through identity theft. Depending on the nature of the identity’s use, the cost of restitution could be high.

Discuss your Options with a Virginia Beach Identity Theft Attorney

Identity theft is a serious charge that could have many consequences. Following an accusation of identity theft, it is best you reach out to a seasoned defense attorney.

A Virginia Beach identity theft lawyer could carefully review the accusations against you and help you fight the charges. Call today to get started building your defense.