What is identity theft? This criminal charge occurs when one person deliberately uses another person's personal identification information for any reason. The identification can be in the form of a driver's license, Social Security number, address, or a government-issued form of identification. Of the many reasons that an identity can be "stolen" and used unlawfully, some of the most common motives include for use of personal gain and to bring harm onto another person.
As a premier law firm serving the Chicago area, we understand that these charges are quite serious and can have long term consequences on an individual and their entire family. We also know that these charges can stem from a misunderstanding, such as a mix-up with identification cards or another reason. No matter what the reason may be for your criminal charges, we strongly suggest that you speak with a skilled and effective defense team right away.
When a person faces charges of identity theft in Chicago, it is likely that an investigation has occurred prior to the charges. During the investigation, the prosecution may have collected weeks, month, or possibly years of evidence, especially in the case of a large identity theft ring. The consequences associated with this criminal charge will all depend upon the nature of the charges and arrest, in addition to the quality of your criminal defense attorney. One of the most common consequences associated with a conviction for identity theft is a prison sentence. Depending upon the value of the property that was stolen during the theft of the identity, such as purchasing goods online using another person's information, the criminal consequences will vary.
Identity theft is sometimes classified as both a white collar crime and a theft offense. No matter what the charge may encompass, it is very important for you to understand the legal rights and options you have at the current time. You will need to exercise your Fifth Amendment rights – the right to protect yourself from making self-incriminating statements – in addition to speaking with an experienced Chicago criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The sooner you involve legal counsel, the sooner you will be able to close this chapter of your life and continue moving forward.