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Identity theft charges place a lot at stake

On Behalf of | Oct 23, 2022 | Fraud

If Minnesota police have taken you into custody, you might be feeling anxious or worried about your case. There’s no way to predict with certainty what the ultimate outcome might be. However, if you face charges for a crime, such as identity theft, you might incur repercussions in your personal life, as well as your career.

Identity theft charges mean that prosecutors believe you have taken over, used or transferred another person’s identity in an unauthorized or unlawful manner. Stealing an identity might include using someone’s name or Social Security number. It might also mean using another person’s bank routing numbers or credit card numbers, or falsifying documents by pretending to be someone else.

The punishment under conviction will fit the crime

Even before you go to trial, charges for identity theft can have negative implications in your life. For instance, you might have to miss work in order to fulfill obligations to the court, such as attending a hearing.

If the court hands down a conviction in a case regarding identity theft charges, the judge may issue a sentence in accordance with state guidelines and at his or her discretion. If there is one victim and economic damages were less than $500, the penalty will no doubt be much less severe than if there were a group of victims. Substantial fines, jail time and an order to pay restitution are all possible penalties for an identity theft crime.

Unlawful use of a scanning device

It is not uncommon nowadays for identity theft charges to include allegations regarding unlawful possession or use of an electronic scanning device. If you are under suspicion of such activity, you might face accusations of scanning someone’s credit card information without permission, then using it to aid, abet or commit unlawful activity.

If convicted of such a crime, you might face up to five years in prison, as well as incur fines up to $10,000.

Building a strong defense from the start

You might have evidence to show that someone falsely accused you of identity theft. You might also believe that a personal rights violation took place leading up to, during or following your arrest. In any case, the state guarantees you an opportunity to present a defense in court.

If you do not have a background in criminal defense law, there may be defense strategies or options available to you of which you are unaware. For this reason, it is always a good idea to seek additional support before standing trial. In fact, many defendants invoke their Fifth Amendment right to remain silent until they have had a chance to speak with a legal advocate.