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Virginia Beach Identity Theft Defense Lawyer
FAcing Identity Theft Charges?
The effects of an identity theft conviction can affect many areas of your life. You could face fines, lengthy prison sentences, and possibly be required to pay restitution. If you have been charged with a white-collar crime like identity theft, retaining an experienced, compassionate Virginia Beach identity theft attorney to fight for your rights is crucial to your success. With over twenty years of experience representing clients in the criminal defense area of law, you can rest easy knowing your attorney has successfully defended cases like yours before.
Why Choose The Law Offices of Daniel J. Miller?
Understanding Identity Theft Laws
Both federally and in Virginia, any crime in which a person wrongfully obtains and uses another person’s identity for his or her own personal gain is considered identity theft. Virginia outlines identity theft into four different types of offenses.
- Using another’s personal identifying information (PII) to gain access to their finances, benefits or government issued identifying documents.
- Using someone’s PII to purchase goods to services
- Using PII to get identifying documents in another’s name.
- Impersonating a state official or police officer to obtain PII
What is Considered Personal Identifying Information?
As mentioned above, identify theft is the procurement of an individual’s identifying information for personal gain.
Below are some examples of what the law considers personal information:
- Biometrics (Retina Scans, Voice, Fingerprints)
- Credit Card/Debit Car Numbers
- Banking Information
- Social Security Number
Gathering Identifying Information via Computer
With an overwhelming percentage of the world’s population now using computers to access the internet, banks, medical facilities, and credit card companies use mobile apps and online portals for customers to pay their bills and access their account information. The digital age has paved a pathway for identity thieves to access the PII from unsuspecting customers using phishing techniques, website rerouting, and falsified or fake emails. In Virginia, if you obtained PII and planned to sell the information, the crime becomes a Class 6 felony with a mandatory minimum prison sentence of six months.
While the exact penalties you could face if convicted of an identity theft crime are determined by the exact nature of the crime committed, below is a basic outline of penalties you could face:
- Fines: if you are convicted of a felony or misdemeanor identity theft crime, you could face up to $2,500 in fines.
- Incarceration: Depending on the class of felony or misdemeanor, you could face varying prison sentences.
- Class 5 Felony – Up to 10 years prison time
- Class 6 Felony – From 1 to 5 years prison time
- Class 1 Misdemeanor – Up to 12 months in Jail
- Probation: If you are sentenced to probation instead of prison time, you must comply with all the conditions outlined by the judge. This could include staying away from certain people associated with criminal activities, staying within the city or state or allowing your probation officer to inspect your home.
- Restitution: If your victim(s) suffered financial loss by your identity theft crimes, the courts could order you pay restitution.
How to Reduce the Risk of Identity Theft
"Congratulations! You’ve Won" – Before ad blockers, you likely remember heading to websites and hearing that phrase. These scams continue to this day, only identity thieves use many different tactics to get your information. You could be contacted via your telephone by representatives claiming you’ve won some grand prize, or you may see an email that looks as if it was coming from a legitimate company, like Target or Amazon, claiming you’ve won. If these scammers ask for your banking information or social security information, hang up the phone or close the browser window.
Corporate Data Leaks – You may have heard about the corporate data leaks Target experienced a few years ago. When a corporation experiences a data leak, customers’ bank accounts, credit history, telephone numbers, and social security information is released into the world. Often these customers are never able to recover this information, and there are a higher risk of having their identities stolen. Consider signing up for a credit and identity theft monitoring service like LifeLock, which will alert you to any threats to your ID.
Pretexting – Pretexting occurs when someone tries to obtain an individual’s personal information often using social engineering and then sells this information. Pretexters often call unsuspecting people claiming they are from the bank, the gas company or the cable company and ask customers to take a short survey or update their records. These people always sound friendly and confident, which helps the scam seem legitimate. Don’t give out your information to someone on the phone, email or mail unless you contacted the agency first.
If you are facing criminal identity theft charges, it is imperative you take these charges seriously. With the representation of a Virginia Beach identity theft attorney, your charges could be lessened or dropped. We at The Law Offices of Daniel J. Miller are passionate about protecting the rights of our clients; we can fight tenaciously on your behalf.
Contact us to schedule your consultation today.
If you are looking for a professional office, he is your man. His staff is friendly but professional.Y. Cathcart
Fantastic staff and Mr. Miller represented me well!J. Madison
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