IDENTITY THEFT IN REAL LIFE

Posted on: July 3, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense attorneyCalifornia Penal Code 530.5

If you’ve seen the 2013 film Identity Thief, you know that it’s a heartwarming comedy starring Jason Bateman as a victim of identity theft and Melissa McCarthy as the thief. While the Melissa McCarthy character in the film is a bold and guilty-as-sin identity thief – with a heart of gold, of course – in real life, some of those charged with identity theft aren’t guilty at all. In many cases, there’s been an honest mistake or a misunderstanding; in other instances, the charge has been entirely fabricated, and no identity theft even happened. If you are charged with identity theft under California Penal Code 530.5, it’s a serious charge. Get serious legal help at once and contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

The law in California defines identity theft as the “unauthorized use of personal identifying information to obtain credit, goods, services, or medical information in the name of another person.” People usually commit identity theft for money, but revenge and retaliation can also be motives. Identity theft in California may be charged as a misdemeanor or as a felony depending on the particulars of the crime. A conviction for felony identity theft is punishable by up to 3 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000. A conviction for misdemeanor identity theft is punishable by up to a year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. If you are convicted under the federal identity theft statute, you’ll face substantially higher fines and in some cases up to thirty years in federal prison.

Identity Thief is a fine comedy, but in real life – whether you are victimized by the crime or charged with it – there’s nothing fine about identity theft. If you are charged with identity theft in southern California, don’t try to act as your own attorney. Get the legal help you need as quickly as possible and speak immediately with an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

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