In recent years, identity theft has become a major problem. It is a form of financial fraud that can be committed in many different ways. Unsuspecting victims may have their personal information stolen to open credit card accounts, have loans taken out or have their bank accounts drawn down without their knowledge.
Any person who knowingly purchases, creates, records or possesses anyone else’s financial information is guilty of identity theft. In Arizona, this is considered a Class 4 felony and can result in stiff jail sentences and fines of up to $150,000. The severity of the penalty will depend on the amount of monetary damage to the victim, how sophisticated the identity theft was and the defendant’s past criminal record.
If a person is charged with an identity theft crime, there are a few defenses that a financial crimes lawyer can mount on their behalf.
The best defense is to claim that there was no fraudulent intent or unlawful purpose for the defendant to be in possession of another person’s identitymaterials.
Obtaining another person’s personal identifying information with someone’s consent for a legitimate purpose does not, in itself, constitute identity theft.
If you are charged with an identity theft crime, it is essential to work with an experienced financial crimes defense attorney to ensure the best outcome for your case. Because there are so many different ways that an identity theft case can be prosecuted, it is essential to respond by creating a defense that is customized to your particular situation so that you stand the best possible chance of getting charges reduced or dismissed.
Cates & Garvey Law Group proudly serves the cities of Phoenix, Scottsdale, Glendale, Tempe, Mesa and surrounding Arizona communities.