Having an experienced Salt Lake City criminal defense attorney representing you against charges of identity theft can make a significant difference in your outcome. If convicted, you could face prison time, fines, surcharges and you will be required to pay back what your alleged victims claim you stole. Darwin Overson is known for this keen ability to fight for his clients’ rights.
Police and prosecutors must establish a case based on what is known as “circumstantial evidence of intent.” This standard requires specific facts and events demonstrative of your state of mind. These types of charges are not always easy to prove in a court of law. Attorney Darwin Overson will work proactively to challenge evidence, especially assertions conducive to speculation.
At Overson Law, PLLC, you will have a dedicated legal team committed to your criminal defense. Most defendants don’t understand the high bar prosecutors have to meet in order to prove identity theft. Attorney Darwin Overson has a reputation for his dedication to his clients and for holding law enforcement accountable for their wrongdoings. To schedule a free and confidential consultation, call (801) 758-2287.
Definition of Identity Theft in Salt Lake City
Identity theft, which is also referred to as identity fraud, occurs when someone uses another’s personal identifying information to fraudulently obtain things of value. Identity theft or fraud is often used to obtain material goods but may also be used to get intangible goods like credit. The use of the fraudulent personal information must be intentional, and it is not a defense that the defendant did not know the information belonged to someone else. The victim of this crime whose identity is being fraudulently used can be alive or deceased. Because the victim in identity theft cases is unharmed, this is considered a crime against property rather than people.
Charges for identity theft or fraud are different than many other types of criminal charges because multiple instances of identity theft against one victim will be aggregated into one charge instead of being charged as multiple counts. The severity of your identity theft charges will depend on the total value of the goods and services you fraudulently obtained. Contact our Salt Lake City identity theft defense lawyer to help you with any identity theft charges.
Possession of Identifying Information in Salt Lake City
In addition to the information mentioned above, it is a criminal offense to knowingly possess the personal identifying information or documents of another that you are not permitted to possess or with the intent to defraud. It is also a crime to assist someone else in getting the personal identifying information or documents of another. These documents may be things like government-issued IDs or vehicle registration or certification documents. The documents may be genuine or counterfeit.
The more documents you unlawfully possess, the greater your charges will be. Possessing another person’s personal information or documents may be a class A misdemeanor in Salt Lake City. However, possession of the personal information or documents of at least two but not more than 100 people is a third-degree felony. Possessing personal information or documents of 100 people or more may be charged as a second-degree felony. No matter what your charges are, our Salt Lake City identity theft defense attorney is here to help.
How Identity Theft Can Happen in Salt Lake City
With the proliferation of electronic media and communications, it is easier than ever before to steal personal information and data and use it for fraudulent purposes. People commonly store personal information on their cell phones or in data clouds that may be accessed anywhere. Obtaining someone else’s personal information may be as easy as guessing the right password.
Electronic communication has also made it easier to trick people out of their personal information. Phone and internet scammers are everywhere and prey on their victims using bogus phone calls and emails. If your personal information is not totally secured, it could be accessed by someone who wants to commit fraud using your identity.
However, identity may still occur by using real physical documents such as passports, driver’s licenses, or social security cards. You can quickly lose these documents or have them stolen. Someone with access to your personal information can wreak havoc using your identity.
If you believe someone has obtained your identity through electronic means, do not hesitate to reach out to our legal team for help. Others may use your identity in the commission of a crime and you might be tied up in the criminal justice process for an offense you had nothing to do with. Call our Salt Lake City identity theft defense lawyer for help.
Personal Information Commonly Stolen in Identity Theft Cases
In order to secure a conviction, the prosecutor in your case must present proof beyond a reasonable doubt of your guilt. The government has to provide legitimate evidence against you. This can include evidence of how you obtained someone else’s personal information or documents and how the information was used. Things like records of purchases and electronic computer records may be used as evidence against you. Identity theft involves the taking of someone else’s personal information. This “taking” can occur in a wide variety of ways of using the following types of information:
- Telephone number
- Driver’s license number
- Social Security number
- Employment and location
- Employee identification numbers or other personal ID numbers
- Mother’s maiden name
- Electronic signatures and other electronic ID signs and numbers
- Any information used to access a person’s financial resources or medical information
Anyone can have access to this information. An experienced criminal defense attorney will not accept any theory as to how you obtained the information. Our Salt Lake City identity theft defense lawyer will help you fight your charges and defend your rights in court.
Penalties for Identity Theft in Utah
Identity theft is a serious offense that carries harsh penalties if you are convicted. Your penalties will depend on the total value of the goods or services your fraudulently obtained rather than the number of instances you committed identity theft. If you are found guilty of identity theft, prison time and fines are as follows:
- If convicted of a third-degree felony, you will face restitution, up to $5,000 fines, and/or up to 5 years’ imprisonment
- If convicted of a second-degree felony, you will face restitution, up to $10,000 fines, and up to 15 years’ imprisonment
Furthermore, you may face other charges that can complicate and add to the penalties you will face. With an accomplished attorney at your side, you can make sure no one manipulates the law to build a more complicated case against you. The authorities have a high standard of law to prove their cause because identity theft is considered a form of fraud. The prosecutors have to show “intent” to deceive. Despite what the authorities pretend, there is a high legal bar to show intent.
Depending on the amount of evidence, prosecutors often seek plea agreements in these types of cases because they are hard to prove. Having an experienced attorney becomes all the more critical as you could possibly obtain a dismissal or have the charges dropped altogether. Identity theft penalties depend on the amount allegedly obtained illegally, described as follows:
- If the property’s value is $5,000, you will be charged with a third-degree felony
- If the property’s value exceeds $5,000, you will be charged with a second-degree felony
Identity theft may also have civil consequences as well. If you are sued in civil court for damages relating to identity theft allegations, you may be made to pay back the value of any stolen or fraudulently obtained goods and services. You may also be required to pay even more money in restitution to any identity theft victims.
The valuation of the allegedly stolen property shouldn’t be determined by law enforcement. An experienced attorney can challenge the validity of the alleged property value. Contact our Salt Lake City identity theft defense lawyer for help challenging your identity theft charges.
Committing Crimes Using Someone Else’s Identity in Salt Lake City
Identity theft or fraud can become extremely problematic and complicated for courts to deal with when a defendant uses someone else’s identity to commit other crimes in addition to the identity theft. For example, if the police stop you for having committed some other crime and you give them the identifying information of someone else as if it were yours, this creates a new problem that needs to be sorted out by the courts.
The other person’s name may end up on important court documents indicating that they are the ones who committed the crime. The courts will need to make official findings that the person listed on court documents did not, in fact, commit a crime. If you believe your identity was used by someone else in the commission of a crime, call our Salt Lake City identity theft defense lawyer for help. We can fight your charges and prove your identity was stolen.
Damages You Can Recover with a Salt Lake City Identity Theft Attorney
The crime of identity theft in Utah is considered a form of fraud or deceit. There are defenses as well as ways to weaken the allegations against you. Your charges for this crime cannot be based on a mistake but on intentional acts designed to deceive others into thinking you’re someone else while seeking to profit from those actions. Regardless of whether the stolen information corresponds to a living person or someone deceased, profiting has a broad definition indicating the pursuit of “anything of value.” Anything of value includes:
- Financial credit for a loan
- Access to medical services
In Utah, you cannot claim a defense by stating you didn’t know the information was not yours. However, there are other defenses and ways to weaken the government’s case against you. An experienced criminal defense attorney can evaluate the case and give you a more concrete sense of your defense. For help determining your best defense against identity theft charges, call our Salt Lake City identity theft defense lawyer as soon as possible.
Call a Dedicated Salt Lake City Attorney to Challenge Identity Theft Charges
Skilled criminal defense attorneys understand what would prove identity theft under the high standard for all criminal cases in Utah: “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Statements alone will not prove identity theft. Your attorney can explain the types of direct or circumstantial evidence needed for a conviction under the legal standard beyond a reasonable doubt. With over sixteen years of experience, attorney Darwin Overson is known for his skill in debunking unproven theories against his clients.
Sometimes the charges are based on direct evidence that requires no conclusions or assumptions, while circumstantial evidence may be subject to interpretation. In identity theft cases, evidence of deception is often biased or prejudicial and therefore inadmissible in a court of law. A seasoned trial attorney is best prepared to present these challenges effectively.
If you are charged with identity theft in Salt Lake City, you must recognize the severe impact a felony conviction can have in your life. Darwin will stand by your side through the entire process. To learn more about our services, schedule a free and confidential criminal defense consultation today. Contact us at (801) 758-2287.