Given recent technological advancements and the growth of electronic payments, identity theft is on the rise. In an effort to prevent people from stealing others’ identities, prosecutors take an especially aggressive approach when it comes to identity theft crimes. A conviction for identity theft can impact the rest of your life. So if you face identity theft charges, you should contact an experienced Waukegan identity theft attorney promptly. Attorney Anisa Jordan at The Jordan Law Firm commands an impressive understanding of these complex laws. She uses this in-depth knowledge to defend her clients at every step of the process.
What Is Identity Theft?
Identity theft refers to the unlawful taking of another’s personal identifying information. There are many types of identity theft. Under state law, identity theft can include any of the following:
- Using another’s information to purchase goods;
- Using another’s information to commit a crime;
- Selling another’s information;
- Using another’s information knowing it was stolen;
- Using another’s information to obtain additional information about a person; and
- Possessing equipment capable of creating false identification.
These are not always stand-alone crimes but are often incorporated into other activities.
Identity Theft Activities
A few of the most common activities that can give rise to identity theft charges include:
- Stolen or fraudulent checks;
- Fraudulent loan applications;
- Social security number fraud;
- Fraudulent use of online accounts;
- Credit card fraud;
- Phishing scams; and
- Fraudulent bank account withdrawals.
While the concept of identity theft is easy to understand, defending against allegations of identity theft can be a challenge. At the same time, the rules of evidence require prosecutors to appropriately charge the offense and to present specific witnesses. In some cases, prosecutors may charge the wrong type of crime, opening the door for possible dismissal. An experienced Waukegan identity theft attorney can help those facing these serious crimes by holding the government to its high burden of proof and working with you to develop a compelling defense to the charges.
Punishment for Identity Theft in Illinois
Prosecutors and judges take identity theft very seriously. Although identity theft is often considered a “white-collar crime,” it still carries significant penalties if a judge or jury convicts you of the charges.
Typically, the severity of the punishment you face depends on the amount of money or goods stolen and whether you have a prior identity theft conviction. The courts look at the value of the stolen items for the purposes of grading an identity theft crime. For example, the sentence for identity theft involving a stolen credit card is based on the items purchased with the card rather than the card’s credit limit.
Any identity theft conviction involving up to $300 will result in a Class 4 felony, punishable by up to three years in jail and a fine of up to $25,000. However, if you have a prior offense or if the amount is between $300 and $2,000, you will face a Class 3 felony. Class 3 felonies carry a sentence of two to five years in jail and a fine of up to $25,000. Identity theft involving amounts between $2,000 to $10,000 is a Class 2 felony, punishable by three to seven years in prison and a fine up to $25,000. The most serious identity theft crimes involve amounts over $100,000. These offenses are Class X felonies and carry a maximum punishment of six to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. Additionally, if the alleged victim of identity theft is a member of the U.S. military or a person over the age of 60, you will face harsher penalties.
A conviction for identity theft will stick with you for life. If you face any type of theft crime, you should immediately reach out to a dedicated Waukegan identity theft defense lawyer for assistance.
Contact a Dedicated Waukegan Identity Theft Lawyer Today
If the government charges you with identity theft, you need a legal practitioner who is skilled in this particular area of the law. Identity theft crimes are complex. Many Waukegan criminal defense legal teams lack the knowledge and experience necessary to mount a successful defense. Attorney Anisa Jordan is a former prosecutor and has handled hundreds of trials throughout her career, including many identity theft cases. When you bring our Waukegan identity theft lawyer on your side, you can rest assured that you are in capable hands.
Our experienced lawyer also handles other types of cases, including:
- Criminal Charges Defense
- DUI Defense
- Traffic Violations
- Driver’s License Suspension and Revocation
- Assault & Battery
- Drug Crimes
- Gun Crimes
- DCFS Appeals
- Record Expungement & Sealing