Identity Theft in Lansing
Identity theft is a relatively new offense that can cover a very large array of charges and conditions. The theft of someone’s information or access to private accounts is identity theft, in the most general sense possible. However, it extends to accessing email private information, bank account information, posing as someone else, and many more.
Lansing takes these crimes seriously and moves quickly to punish offenders. However, innocent people are sometimes unjustly charged with identity theft charges. This crime carries serious consequences if you are convicted. Do not let that happen. If you are being investigated or have been charged for identity theft, you need to contact a Lansing theft defense attorney immediately.
Punishment for Identity Theft in Lansing
If you are convicted of identity theft, the courts will penalize you to the highest degree possible. Identity theft can be any unlawful possession of any information, money, or goods. Under the Michigan Penal Code’s Identity Theft Protection Act (445.65) the court can sentence you to five years in prison with a $15,000 fine attached to it. This penalty alone can seriously disrupt your life plan permanently.
Once convicted, this will be placed on your criminal record. Employers and professionals you work with on a daily basis will see this document. Having a criminal record can seriously jeopardize your ability to get a job and participate in a normal life.
If this is not your first identity theft offense, the consequences only grow more serious. The jail time can increase to 15 years. The penalty fine that goes with this sentence can balloon up to $75,000. Take a moment and consider how you could gather $75,000 in the next few months? How about within the next two years? How much time would you actually need to pay off a fine of that size?
Regardless of how large the fine is, penalties of this size will drain your finances for years to come. A criminal record will tarnish your reputation. Finally, you will have between five and 15 years to consider how difficult your life will be before you have to deal with it while you are serving your prison sentence.
You do not even have to be directly implicated in the action. Under the Michigan Penal Code MCL (750.539k), it is illegal to copy or send personal information that is unlawfully acquired. This is a misdemeanor that has a $1,000 fine.
Identity theft charges can have murky boundaries. Possessing someone else’s information can be taken as a full identity theft charge. If the prosecution feels they have evidence, they may be able to charge you with Larceny as well. Depending on how much was taken, the additional penalties for this can vary widely.
Fighting Identity Theft Charges
If you are unjustly accused of identity theft, you must make sure the person whose identity you are accused of stealing, is at least not hostile towards you. Admission by the victim that what you were found with was a gift, given for an errand, or another innocent reason can single handedly destroy the prosecution’s case. If they have arrested you, it is likely they have hard evidence of your possession or use of another person’s information. The largest effort on the prosecution’s part is now to prove intent.
They will need to prove that you knowingly took another person’s information, without their consent or knowledge, and used it for your own personal gain, financial or otherwise. In other words, they will have the “identity” proven, they just need the “theft” part. An experienced attorney will know this and will investigate the feasibility of this defense. When and if you are arrested, do not say anything to the police. When they address you with questions, politely decline to answer until you have spoken with your lawyer. This is vital to your case. In proving your will to criminally misuse the identity of another, they can talk you into saying things that can be taken out of context or wrongly admitted. The best strategy is to decline until you meet with your attorney.
You will need an experienced lawyer who knows how to fight for your case. The attorneys at Grabel & Associates have over 100 years of legal practice experience between them, and we have been fighting for the rights of Lansing and Michigan citizens for over ten years. We will begin working on your case, investigating every detail, following up every witness and factor of your case. The sooner you contact us, the faster we can form your defense in court.
Contact Grabel & Associates
Just as speed on your part can help you, delaying can sabotage your freedom. Every day that passes without action on your part gives more time and wiggle room for the prosecution to build their case against you. Any small action you do, anything you say might become a piece of evidence that be disastrous. Our 24/7 consultants are ready to take your call. We can assess your case and begin forming a strategy immediately. Do not wait. Call the attorneys at Grabel & Associates right now at 1-800-342-7896, and you can also contact us through our website.