Identity theft occurs when a person obtains money, goods, or something of value through the use of another person’s identity with fraudulent intent. Identity theft can also involve illegal immigration or criminal Internet activity. Identity theft includes financial, criminal, and business/commercial identity theft, as well as identity cloning.
Identity theft charges can come in state and federal court. In federal court, identity theft charges often go hand-in-hand with other white-collar crimes. For example, someone who makes fake credit cards attached to a real person’s bank account and then makes purchases with those cards can be charged with both wire fraud under 18 USC § 1343 and aggravated identity theft under 18 USC § 1028A. “Aggravated identity theft” convictions are very harsh because they carry a mandatory additional sentence of two years that must be imposed in addition to any sentence the judge imposes in the cases – and must run consecutively to other sentences.
In Minnesota state court, identify theft is covered under Minn. Stat. § 609.527, which defines “identity” to include a person’s name, social security number, date of birth, driver’s license number, passport numbers, employer or taxpayer identification numbers, bank account numbers, and even cellphone numbers. The statute is very broad. Depending on the specifics of the case, identity theft can be anything from a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of a $1,000 fine and 90 days in jail to a felony with a maximum punishment of a $100,000 fine and a 20-year prison sentence.
Your identity theft defense attorney can serve as your spokesperson during the investigation, appearing at your side during any required questioning sessions. In the right circumstances, your attorney may be able to resolve the identity theft investigation in your favor before formal criminal charges are filed. Contact Birrell Criminal Defense for battle-tested representation that is ready to fight for you.
Our Identity Theft Defense Attorneys
Ian S. Birrell
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A highly respected, trial-focused law firm, our members include three attorneys elected to membership in the American College of Trial Lawyers, and numerous attorneys designated “Super Lawyers” or “Rising Stars” by Minnesota Law & Politics magazine. We have decades of trial and appellate experience, and the good judgment such experience brings.
Our identity theft defense attorneys are resourceful, tough, and committed to our clients’ interests, and we have the ability to keep the orders, verdicts and judgments we obtain on appeal.
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