Dallas Lawyer For Theft Defense
Dallas Attorney For Theft Defense: What Is Identity Theft & How Is It Punished?
A Dallas lawyer for theft defense handles different types of criminal law cases. One of these is identity theft.
How Identity Theft Occurs & Who It Affects
Being a victim of identity theft can be a worrisome and scary event. Identity theft can show up in many forms. From stolen funds to criminal theft, assuming the identity of someone else is a punishable crime. According to 2020 reports, losses from identity theft amounted to $56 billion. Scams can be to blame for the rise in identity theft over the years. Perhaps some of the most serious identity theft is tax fraud.
Identity theft can wreak havoc on a business or individual. From a damaged reputation with customers to stolen funds from your account, identity theft poses a serious risk for everyone. As devastating as it can be for the individual, it also carries consequences for the perpetrator.
It is important to know there ARE laws in Texas and all over the United States that prohibit identity theft and prosecute it. Prosecuting identity theft is a part of the U.S. legal system. Identity theft is a federal crime. There are many layers to identity theft and how it occurs.
However, if you are accused of identity theft, you need to know the right information to benefit your case. Due to the serious nature of identity theft, you have to be prepared with the proper legal team, information, and strategies to help your case. There are many aspects to identity theft and the repercussions. The best-case scenario is to hire an attorney who will help decipher this information.
What Classifies As Identity Theft?
Identity theft is defined as the obtainment or possession of another’s individual (infant, minor or adult) to harm others or defraud them. Furthermore, a defendant will be presumed with the intent of harm if they possess identification for three or more people. This definition does not change even if the victim is deceased.
What Are The Defenses?
The first defense someone has when accused of identity theft is their lack of intent to harm others. Being able to prove there was no malice, harm, or deceit intended on their end will be a strong defense. This is one of the strongest defenses in a case.
Another defense is a “mistake of fact.” In other words, the defendant did not commit identity theft. Lastly, the age of the defendant plays a role. For example, if the defendant is a minor, the punishment is likely reduced.
How Criminals Are Prosecuted
In 1998, the U.S. Government passed the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act. According to this law, any individual who knowingly uses or transfers the identity of someone to aid and abet or commit illegal activity will have their crime punished as a felony under the State law.
However, this was not the only law passed to stop identity theft. Congress passed the Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement in 2004. Under this new act, aggravated identity theft carries an additional prison sentence of 2 years. However, it gets more serious. While an additional 2-year sentence was outlined for general offenses, terrorism-related offenses jumped to an additional 5 years.
The agencies responsible for the evaluation of damage from the crime include state police, federal agents, the IRS, and many more. The consequences of fraud include fines, restitution, imprisonment, and probation.
How Is Identity Theft Punished In Texas?
According to Chapter 12 of the Texas Penal Code, criminals who commit identity theft are subject to penalties and sentences. A state jail conviction carries 180 days (6 months) to 2 years and/or a fine up to $10,000. A third-degree conviction will result in a sentence of 2 to 10 years and/or a fine up to $10,000. A second-degree conviction will result in anywhere from 2 to 20 years and/or a fine up to $10,000. A first-degree felony will result in 5 years to life in prison and/or a fine of $10,000.
How A Lawyer Can Help
A lawyer can help if you are accused of identity theft. A case involving identity theft should be taken seriously with the right legal experts by your side. A lawyer will help your defense and find important details to assist in your case.
A qualified lawyer will research the facts involved. They will also investigate the case built against their client. Furthermore, they will do everything they can to negotiate deals with prosecutors. To be more specific, the deals include reduced bail, charges, and sentences.
The Medlin Law Firm
The Medlin Law Firm has 79 years of combined experience helping individuals accused of crimes in Texas. They offer free case evaluation. They have successfully helped thousands of individuals over the years improve their cases. If you are facing identity theft charges in Tarrant County or anywhere in Texas, they can assist you in the process. They focus solely on criminal law.
5 Reasons Why You Need A Lawyer If Accused Of Identity Theft
If accused of identity theft, there are 5 reasons why you need a lawyer to represent you. While you may feel the charges are wrongful and unfair, that’s not the way the court sees it. It is easy to feel overwhelmed and helpless due to the situation. It may even be tempting to represent yourself, however, this is never advisable.
Criminal defense is essential, especially in the case of identity theft. There are countless reasons why it is never a wise idea to go without an attorney. Let’s break down the top 5 reasons why you need a lawyer.
#1: Lack Of Access
It is extremely difficult to represent yourself in a court of law. This is due to a lack of access. There are legal books and websites you can refer to, however, the real-life use of these laws is much different. Only an experienced lawyer will be able to differentiate the nuances and interpret the laws in their most accurate form. A criminal attorney will help you to fully understand identity theft charges, the defenses you have available to you, the plea bargains that you could be offered and the conviction process (if convicted).
#2: Negotiating Deals With Prosecutors
Many are unaware of how much power a criminal prosecutor holds in regard to a case. They have a lot of power when deciding the types of charges and penalties. An experienced attorney will be able to negotiate “deals” with prosecutors. This comes in the form of reduced charges and reduced sentence time. A lawyer will have a much higher chance of successfully negotiating a deal with a prosecutor than a self-represented defendant would.
#3: Outside Pressure
The community plays a role in criminal cases. There is a lot on the line for everyone involved in the case. For example, judges are looking for re-election. Prosecutors are looking to be successful. Police officers anticipate a case to be charged based on their reports. There are a lot of people invested in each case.
Furthermore, the community and residents can become quite involved in a cases’ fate, especially if it is reprehensible. This type of situation is difficult and hard to process for a self-represented defendant. A lawyer has the knowledge, skills, and expertise to maneuver this situation. Hiring a lawyer will not only take some of the pressure off but also give you a better chance at handling the outside noise.
# 4: Help You Cope With The Stress
As mentioned above, there are many factors and people involved in a case. This can undoubtedly lead to stress for the defendant. By hiring an attorney, you are reducing the amount of stress you have to endure alone. A lawyer will help you cope with the stress, fear, shame, embarrassment, and other psychological issues that may arise with the case.
This type of stressful response to a case is very common and not something you should deal with on your own. This type of stress could lead to more serious conditions. To help you cope and reduce the pressure, a lawyer will be a valuable asset to you and your case.
# 5: Efficiency And Proper Use Of Time & Resources
In a criminal case, time and resources are valuable. If you attempt to represent yourself, you’ll still have other responsibilities and duties to attend to. This includes a job and family. Trying to decipher legal terms and state laws will be overwhelmingly difficult and nearly impossible with your daily schedule. Hiring a lawyer is an efficient use of your resources.
Attorneys are skilled in maximizing their time and increasing productivity. They understand the steps needed to get a case headed in the right direction as quickly as possible. They can be trusted to benefit your case and help you maximize your time and productivity.
Hiring The Right Lawyer Today For Identity Theft Charges
As you can see, identity theft is a crime that needs proper representation. Setting yourself up for a positive outcome starts with having a Dallas lawyer for theft defense by your side. If you are in Texas and need legal representation for identity theft charges, The Medlin Law Firm is your go-to. Remember that experience is the most important factor in a successful attorney. They have the skills needed to benefit your case and represent you fairly and justly.