Identity theft is a serious offense that can have far-reaching consequences on a victim’s life. Although it is a white-collar crime, the penalties are severe and typically involve fines, restitution, and incarceration.
If police arrest you for identity theft, or if you suspect you are being investigated for identity theft, consult with an experienced Wyoming white collar crimes lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney can protect your rights, help you build a solid defense, and fight passionately for your freedom and future.
Common types of federal identity theft crimes you need a lawyer for include:
- Misuse of a U.S. passport — According to 18 U.S.C. 1544, misuse of a passport occurs when you use or attempt to use another person’s passport. You will face increased penalties if you engage in this behavior with the intention of committing an act of international terrorism or a drug trafficking crime.
- Computer fraud — The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act prohibits unauthorized access to computers and computer networks. In many cases, computer fraud encompasses a wide range of other cyber offenses. A first-time computer fraud offense involving unauthorized access to a computer is punishable by up to 5 years.
- Postal fraud — If you use the U.S. mail or postal service, or any interstate delivery service to engage in fraud, you may be charged with postal/mail fraud. The penalties for this crime are harsh and include imprisonment of up to 20 years, fines, probation, and restitution.
- Social security number fraud — Social security fraud is a sub-category of identity theft that has increased in severity as a result of the digital age. Scammers may use emails, text messages, or direct phone calls to obtain a victim’s social security number and therefore benefits. According to the Office of the Inspector General, social security fraud is a, “felony offense…punishable by up to 5 years in prison, fines of up to $250,000, or both.”
- Bank fraud — Bank fraud occurs when a person uses illegal means to obtain assets, money, or other property from a financial institution. If convicted of bank fraud, you face up to 30 years in prison and up to $1,000,000 in fines.
- Marriage/immigration fraud — Defrauding U.S. immigration law is a serious felony offense punishably by up to 5 years in prison and $250,000 in fines.
- Credit Card fraud — It is illegal to use fraudulent or stolen credit card information. If charged with federal credit card fraud, you face fines of up to $10,000 and/or imprisonment of not more than ten years.
Remember, identity theft has become an umbrella term that covers a range of different crimes. Depending on your case, you may face charges for multiple offenses.
Contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer today
Davis & Cannon, LLP, has represented Northern Wyoming residents for more than three decades. If you or someone you love is charged with computer, bank, postal, or any other type of fraud, let our team of experienced defense lawyers fight for you. To schedule a consultation with an experienced criminal defense lawyer today, call (307) 672-7491 or contact us online.