Identity theft is defined as taking another person’s personal identifying information to use unlawfully or fraudulently. The personal information can range from tax ID, credit card details, bank information to date of birth, and even death certificate information.
If you’re found guilty of committing an offense related to federal government property, you may end up facing criminal charges filed in federal court. And depending on the severity of the crime, you can face years in state prison or hefty fines.
Here, the burden of proof lies upon the prosecution. That means the prosecutor must prove every element beyond the reason of a doubt. For example, whether:
- You used personal identity information unlawfully.
- You did not have the permission of the person whose information you’re accused of using.
- You obtained the personal information of someone else willfully.
Furthermore, identity theft in San Diego is considered a wobbler offense. So, the prosecution has the right to charge the offense as a misdemeanor or a felony. Determining between the two depends upon your criminal history or the extent of loss that victim has suffered.
The penalty for a misdemeanor identity theft can lead to spending a maximum of one year in county jail with a fine of up to $1,000.
For a felony identity theft, you can face up to three years in county jail and a maximum of $10,000 fine.
However, the penalty for federal identity theft is quite harsh. If proven guilty, you can end up spending up to 30 years in federal prison and increased fines.
All of these factors can be challenging to get through on your own, especially since the police, law enforcement, and jury are rarely sympathetic to your case. That’s why hiring a San Diego identity theft lawyer is your best chance to avoid a conviction.
At The Law Office of Marc S. Kohnen, we view each aspect with an in-depth view. We build our defensive strategies to ensure the prosecution proves each element before proceeding with a conviction. Even if a single element remains unproven, it can cause the court to reduce the charges, and in some cases, dismiss it altogether.
The elements that require proof include everything from consent by the owner to use their personal information and proving that you did not use the identity for a fraudulent purpose. We also base our defense upon the fact that you lacked criminal intent.
Given how the prosecution works, Marc is ready to become your voice in court.
We believe in the policy ‘innocent until proven guilty.’ So, we’ll stop at nothing until we have your charges dropped or, at the very least, reduced.
If you’re facing identity theft charges and fear conviction, there’s no time to waste. But you can still avoid a permanent criminal record by having the best identity theft defense lawyer in San Diego.
Call us at The Office of Marc S. Kohnen today to make an appointment.