Skilled Orange County Identity Theft Lawyer
Identity theft is considered to be a major problem; subsequently, law enforcement and the District Attorney's office has devoted special units in aggressively tracking down and prosecuting those accused. Defendants in these cases could also face additional theft charges such as grand theft, petty theft, fraud, elder abuse, forgery, and embezzlement, which is why you need an attorney who can reduce or dismiss these white collar crime charges. For this reason, do not hesitate to call Law Office of Michael L. Guisti at (714) 530-9690 if you've been accused of any type of identity theft, including Craigslist or other online scams, using a child's SSD number to get welfare from the government, or using a fake ID to obtain employment.
Under Penal Code 530.5, there are four types of identity theft:
- You willfully obtain another person's identity information and use that information for an unlawful purpose—such as obtaining credit, services, money, or property—without that person's consent.
- You acquire or retain possession of another person's identity, without the person's consent, with the intent to commit a fraud crime. It does not matter if you used another person's identity for your own gain—only that you obtain somebody's identity and intend to use it to commit fraud.
- You sell, transfer, or provide the personal identity of another person, without that person's consent, with the intent to commit a fraud crime.
- You sell, transfer, or provide the personal identity of another person with the actual knowledge that the identity will be used to commit a fraud crime.
Every time you use another person's identity is a separate violation. This means, for example, if you allegedly used another person's credit card 5 times you'll be charged with 5 separate counts.
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In most identity fraud cases, the District Attorney will try to put on an additional charge of theft. The theft you are charged with depends on the value of the items you obtained. If the value was under $950, you will face petty theft charges; if the value was over $950, you will face grand theft charges.
If somehow you came into possession of somebody's identity, but never used it and never had any intention of using it for fraud, then you cannot be found guilty of this crime.
Identity theft is a "wobbler," which means it can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. Most of the time what you are charged with depends on your criminal record and what you obtained using somebody else's identity. Again, it is important to remember that identity theft cases are often charged along with other related theft crimes; if convicted of those crimes, you can face additional punishment if convicted, which is why you need a professional attorney who can work to successfully reduce your sentencing.
- Misdemeanor Identity Theft: You could face up to 1 year in county jail and a $1,000 fine.
- Felony Identity Theft: You face between 1 to 3 years in state prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
As we have mentioned, if you are being charged with identity theft, chances are that you are probably going to be charged with one or more theft crimes. This is why you need to call Law Office of Michael L. Guisti, because our Orange County criminal defense lawyers can work to reduce these charges into one charge or get other charges dismissed. We can help get your life back to normal, protect your reputation, and put all this behind you.
Attorney Michael Guisti recently represented Michelle Hadley in a Craigslist catfishing case. Ms. Hadley was charged with numerous serious crimes and was facing a life sentence if convicted. Mr. Guisti was able to clear her of all charges. Please view the links below for additional information on the case.
- Michelle Hadley - What Happened and How Our Firm Helped Save Her
- Michelle Suzanne Hadley’s Timeline – How the Story Finally Unfolded
- Michael Guisti Comments on Charges Being Dropped in Michelle Hadley Craigslist Case
Whether you're facing a felony or a misdemeanor, don't risk a conviction. Act quickly to redeem your reputation and protect your record by consulting with our Orange County criminal defense lawyer. Call today to schedule your free consultation.