Identity Theft and Fraud
Identity theft is a type of fraud crime in which a person steals another’s identifying information for personal gain. The offense usually involves taking another’s financial information to make fraudulent purchases, open credit cards or apply for loans; but can also involve assuming the other person’s identity to commit other crimes under the person’s name. As identity theft typically involves the use of the internet, these crimes usually attract the attention of federal agencies and can be charged in state and federal court. This means that one can be charge for identity theft at both the state and federal level, without facing double jeopardy. If you face charges for identity theft or fraud, contact attorney Brian Gabriel to discuss your case.
Identity Theft vs. Identity Fraud
Identity theft and fraud are terms used to describe criminal activity in which one person steals the identifying information of another, typically for economic gain. There are key differences between identity theft and identity fraud, which are both nonviolent crimes that involve fraudulent activity.
Identity theft describes the increasingly common crime of a person unlawfully gaining access to another’s personal information, including:
- Social security number
- Bank account information
- Credit card information
- Driver’s license number
- Birth certificate
These data are used without authorization to apply for credit cards, open bank accounts, obtain loans, and more. The thief may also use these data to assume the other person’s identity to commit other crimes in the person’s name.
Common identity theft scenarios include the fraudulent use of debit and credit cards, claiming to be someone else at the scene of a crime, pretending to be another person for the use of his or her health insurance or other medical purpose, internet fraud, and check forgery.
Identity fraud is the creation of a false identity. Rather than taking another’s information, the thief invents a whole new person to open new lines of credit and other acts.
Identity Theft Charges and Penalties in West Palm Beach
Identity theft can be a misdemeanor or felony offense depending on the defendant’s use of the stolen identity. There are many ways of committing identity theft and crime, and the facts of the case will determine the potential penalties.
Steep fines and jail time are common in sentencing for identity theft and fraud crimes. If you face federal identity theft and fraud charges, you may be facing harsher penalties than you would at the state level. It is imperative that a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney thoroughly evaluate your case.
At The Law Office of Gabriel & Gabriel, we understand the severity of the charges against you. Attorney Brian Gabriel is known throughout South Florida for his skilled criminal defense work. He has handle white collar crime cases at the state and federal level and will investigate all the elements of your case thoroughly for a powerful defense. Call 561-622-5575 for a free consultation, or contact us online.