Gwinnett County Identity Theft Lawyer
Identity theft occurs when individuals steal the personal identifying information of others for financial gain. This offense has become increasingly common as more and more personal identifying information is stored electronically. If you are facing charges of identity fraud, you may need the legal advice of a Gwinnett County identity theft lawyer.
Most people see identity theft as a crime of dishonesty, which can cause others to be less trusting of you in the future if you are convicted. Identity theft is also a felony offense, which leads to a permanent felony record that may make you ineligible for some jobs. A well-versed criminal attorney may be able to explain the full range of penalties that you may face due to identity theft charges. With legal assistance, you may be able to determine the best course of action in your case.
What is Identity Theft?
According to the Official Code of Georgia § 16-9-121, individuals commit identity fraud in various situations. More specifically, identity fraud occurs whenever persons fraudulently:
- Use, or possess with intent to use, the personal identifying information of others and without their consent
- Use the personal identifying information of a child who is under the age of 18 and in their legal custody
- Use, or possess with intent to use, personal identifying information belonging to a deceased person
- Creating, using, or possessing with intent to use personal identifying information of a person who does not exist
Furthermore, fraudulently creating, using, or possessing with intent to use false identifying information of others to commit a criminal offense constitutes identity fraud. Knowingly accepting fake, stolen, or counterfeit identifying information as valid for identification purposes also may also be considered as a form of identity theft. As multiple scenarios could lead to identity theft charges, individuals may want to seek a Gwinnett County identity theft lawyer for assistance.
Penalties for Identity Theft in Gwinnett County
Identity theft is automatically charged as a felony offense under Georgia law. For a first offense, O.C.G.A. § 16-9-126 provides that individuals may face a prison sentence ranging from one to ten years, in addition to fines of up to $100,00. For a second or subsequent offense, the minimum sentence of incarceration increases to three years. Individuals with prior convictions also may face a maximum of 15 years in prison, as well as a fine of $250,000.
An aggravated identity fraud conviction could result in fines of up to $250,000 and 15 years in prison. Additionally, all sentences for aggravated identity fraud will run consecutive to any other sentences received. As a Gwinnett County identity theft lawyer may advise, these penalties can result in lengthy prison terms.
Work with a Gwinnett County Identity Theft Attorney
Whether you are accused of committing, attempting to commit, or conspiring to commit identity fraud, you are likely to need legal advice. A conviction for an identity theft charge could potentially result in a permanent felony record that would appear whenever you undergo a background check. A Gwinnett County identity theft lawyer may be able to help you avoid or reduce some of these potential consequences.
Defenses may be available to you in identity theft cases, but you are likely to need legal assistance to determine the best defense strategy in your case. With legal counsel at your side, you may be able to protect your rights better and achieve your objectives.