Charged With Identity Theft?
The State of Texas considers identity theft a “White Collar Crime” and takes this charge very seriously. That facts are, that 25% of us will be affected by identity theft in our lifetime. Whether you have been a victim of this crime, or you are being charged with it, there are things you should know. Both victims and offenders face a tough battle. Many of these cases happen online, or by people close to you with access to your information, such as family members. Identity theft can start small, yet turns to a felony in the State of Texas when being charged. Here’s some information as to what a person being charged with Identity Theft can face.
If a person is charged with unauthorized transfer or use of someone else’s identity in Texas, the penalty includes jail time of a maximum of one year. However, if that information is actually used by the person, or convicted of being in possession of that information, the fine can include life in prison.
The penalty for using, possessing, transferring, etc can range in fines ranging from $4,000 to $10,000. This all depends if you are convicted as a misdemeanor or a felony. Many times the offender also will have to pay for court costs, or restitution also. At this point, the loss of freedom and financial burden increases for the offender, as they may be required to pay for their own probation also (post conviction).
Probation can be set for a one year period to those convicted. The convicted offender must then be asked to maintain regular check ins with a probation officer, maintain a job, not be involved in any crimes during that time, report changes in address, and not leave the county jurisdiction. Other mandates as the judge sees fit can also be added to the probation requirements.
Offenders may be charged and convicted resulting in a restitution obligation. This money goes to the victim to help recoup their losses. Depending on the amount that was involved in the case, this amount can change from case to case.
If you or someone you know is being charged with identity theft, or needs help with victim restitution, they need to act quickly. Many types of programs involving financial identity theft, ask that you report the loss right away, or within 1 - 2 days, to insure your coverage of loss.
The attorneys at Kirk & Williams in MIdland, Texas can help. Call us today at 432-687-5035 to set up a consultation.