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SAN DIEGO IDENTITY THEFT LAWYERs

Fraud Charges in Southern California

If someone has accused you of identity theft, you will want to take action right away. Even if the prosecutor has not yet charged you with a crime, you don’t want to take any chances when your future is on the line.

Not only can a conviction force you to spend time behind bars, but it can also make it difficult to find a job or place to live once you complete your sentence. Fortunately, a San Diego identity theft lawyer can help you face this challenging legal problem. Your attorneys will stand by your side until the end of your case, giving you the best possible odds of reaching a desirable outcome.

IDENTITY THEFT DEFINED

When you are facing a charge of identity theft, you will want to know what it is so that you can decide how you should move forward. California penal code 530.5 defines the behaviors that constitute identity theft, but the terminology can confuse those who are not familiar with legal jargon. In simple terms, identity theft occurs when an individual uses the personal information of another person for financial gain, such as taking out loans or applying for credit cards.

IDENTITY THEFT PENALTIES

It’s important you understand the penalties that the court could impose if a jury finds you guilty so that you know what to expect as you move forward. In California, identity theft is a wobbler offense, meaning that the prosecutor can pursue the case as a misdemeanor or a felony.

If the prosecutor pursues misdemeanor charges, you could face up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. You could spend up to three years behind bars and fines of up to $10,000 if the prosecutor seeks a felony conviction. If your case involves an alleged victim from another state, a federal court could seek a sentence of up to 30 years in a federal prison. A criminal conviction will also impact you on a personal level. For example, spending time behind bars can result in job loss, damaged relationships and more.

POSSIBLE DEFENSES

If you were arrested and charged with identity theft, it does not mean that you will be convicted. A San Diego criminal defense lawyer will review your case and show you viable defenses that could prevent you from going to jail. Before the prosecuting attorney can convict you of a crime, she will need to convince a jury that you had used the victim’s personal information to defraud the victim.

Depending on the details of your case, asserting that you did not intend to commit an illegal act could be a strong defense. You can also inform the jury that the victim has wrongly accused you of a crime that you did not commit. The defense that you will want to use will depend on the information available to the court, and your attorney can help you decide what path makes the most sense.

WHY YOU NEED A San Diego CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY

Being charged with identity theft can change your life in a negative way, and getting convicted is even worse. Prosecutors can lie about the evidence that they have and try to offer an unfair plea deal, and you won’t know what to do if you don’t seek the assistance of a criminal defense lawyer in San Diego.

A qualified criminal defense attorney will use the discovery process to find out what evidence the prosecutor will use against you at your trial and determine your odds of getting an acquittal. Your attorney will then help you decide whether you should take the plea deal or fight in court.

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