In today’s digital world, it can be easy to catch an identity theft charge, even if you had no knowledge or intention that you were committing a crime. If you are in North Carolina, you should know that an identity theft charge could be a serious issue as it’s strictly prohibited under state law. It’s paramount that you promptly hire a criminal defense lawyer to protect you against identity theft charges.
If you reside in Asheville, NC, or the surrounding areas, you can find the region’s most reputable Asheville identity theft lawyer at Edwards Law. We know all the state and federal statutes covering your case and are ready to take on all the legal challenges you may encounter.
This white-collar crime occurs when an individual obtains another individual’s personal or financial information and uses it to commit fraud. Under the North Carolina Identity Theft Protection Act, it’s against the law to obtain, possess, or use another person’s identifying information with the intent to commit fraud.
While this statute seems straightforward, there are some crucial facts to keep in mind:
You must have assumed someone else’s identity for financial transactions, gaining something of value, or stealing credit card information. It’s also identity theft if you utilize another person’s identification details to escape legal liability. For instance, if you assume another individual’s identity to pay fewer taxes, you will be committing tax identity theft.
State authorities are especially keen to arrest and prosecute persons misappropriating other people’s Social Security and Taxpayer ID information, as most of these cases can fall under federal identity theft. Social Security identity theft could enable the offender to open bank accounts, apply for credit cards, take out loans, and incur many other liabilities. The offender can also commit tax fraud.
You should consult our Asheville identity theft attorneys for legal advice as soon as you are arrested or charged with identity theft.
In North Carolina, an identity theft charge is a Class G felony, and the penalty is anywhere between 8 and 31 months imprisonment if you are convicted.
You are likely to be given a longer sentence if you stole the identifying information of three or more people, or if your criminal actions resulted in the alleged victim being arrested, prosecuted, convicted, or otherwise affected. Under these circumstances, the identity theft charge will be classified as a Class F felony, and if you are convicted, you could be imprisoned for 10 to 41 months.
Having an experienced identity theft lawyer from Asheville who is familiar with every possible defense for your case can help you avoid the harsh penalties of an identity theft conviction.
Here are some of the legal defenses the attorneys at our law firm can utilize in your case.
North Carolina prosecutors have been very ambitious in prosecuting suspects of white-collar crimes such as identity theft. It’s possible that the prosecution is unfairly accusing you and are entirely innocent. Perhaps you are being accused of a crime committed by a co-worker, friend, or another family member.
You can’t be convicted if the prosecution accuses you of identity theft, yet the alleged victim consented to use their identity. Authorization or permission from the victim to use their identity is a powerful legal shield. The legal team at Edwards Law will present compelling evidence proving you had the alleged victim’s consent.
Prosecutors must prove that your intention to access another person’s identifying information was to commit fraud; if they fail, you can’t be convicted. Randomly coming across someone else’s identifying information isn’t a crime. Our Asheville identity theft lawyers will prove that you had no intention of committing a crime.
Your identity could also have been stolen, and you are just a victim of someone else’s criminal adventures. You may have been tricked or entrapped, and the prosecution’s charges are based on a misunderstanding of the situation. Our identity theft lawyers near Asheville will prove that you are also a victim — not the perpetrator.
In North Carolina, the prosecution’s side commonly builds their identity cases from the evidence they’ve seized from searching your property, like your phone or computer. Law enforcement agencies must obtain a ratified warrant from the relevant judge to search your property.
Our legal team can argue that the prosecution’s side built their case from an improper search as they didn’t have a properly approved warrant to get the case against you thrown out.
The primary role of an identity theft attorney is to provide you with legal defense against the charges you are facing and fight for a favorable outcome for you. A favorable outcome could be getting the identity theft case you are facing dismissed or getting a lighter sentence.
At Edwards Law, our legal team will investigate your identity theft case, develop a robust legal strategy, and defend your interests in North Carolina courtrooms.
The only way you can ensure your Asheville identity theft case ends favorably is by hiring a competent criminal defense attorney from Edwards Law. You can count on our legal team’s decades of combined experience to deliver the best possible outcome.