Financial Identity fraud happens when one person uses another person’s identification to obtain goods or money fraudulently. Financial identity fraud can have damaging effects on the people whose identities are stolen as well as on the economy. Consequently, investigators and prosecutors treat financial identity fraud very harshly. If convicted, an offender could face steep punishment.
If you are under investigation for stealing someone’s identity, it is crucial that you act swiftly to protect your legal rights and get in touch with a skilled defense attorney as soon as possible. An experienced Greenville financial identity fraud lawyer could explore all possible defenses and work to give you the best chance of preserving your freedom.
What is Financial Identity Fraud?
Financial Identity Fraud occurs when someone appropriates the financial resources of another person, devises a scheme to defraud, or obtains money or goods by using or obtaining identifying information of another individual, such as their social security number. Essentially, a person steals another person’s identifying information to gain access to some benefit. The most common stolen personal identifying information are driver’s licenses, passports, social security numbers, credit card numbers, checking or savings account numbers, digital signatures, passwords, or dates of birth. According to SC Code Section 16-13-510, South Carolina law treats identify theft as either financial identity fraud or identity fraud.
The prosecution needs to prove that the defendant used or took the identifying information without the complainant’s consent. They would also need to demonstrate the following:
- The defendant intended to take money from the complainant’s financial resources for either their use or a third party’s use,
- The defendant intended to use the identity to defraud the complainant, or
- The defendant planned to use the identifying information as a means to benefit by false pretenses.
The prosecution would not need to prove that the defendant actually used and benefitted from the identifying information. The fact that the defendant intended to benefit from the identity would be sufficient. An experienced Greenville Financial Identity Fraud attorney could potentially use a defendant’s lack of intent as a defense in court.
Identity fraud occurs when someone uses another’s identity for a purpose of gaining employment or avoiding detection by law enforcement. Often, identity fraud occurs when someone pretends to be another person to obtain a job because they do not want to disclose their real employment history or criminal background. Identity theft also happens when people lie to police officers or other law enforcement officials about who they are to avoid arrest.
A seasoned identity theft lawyer in Greenville could use their experience and knowledge to help an accused defendant refute the charges. In many instances, they can clear up any simple misunderstandings regarding consent and intent.
Possible Penalties for Identity Theft in Greenville
South Carolina treats all forms of identity theft as serious crimes. If convicted on the most serious charges of felony identity theft, a defendant could receive up to a ten-year prison sentence. In addition to losing their freedom, they could also face a significant financial loss. The court could require them to pay a hefty fine, and they could be forced to pay restitution to the alleged victim. Because there is so much at stake, it is critical that a defendant reach out for legal assistance as soon as they are able.
Call a Greenville Financial Identity Fraud Attorney for Help
If you have been charged with ID theft, you could be facing jail time, fines, and more. It is crucial that you work with a Greenville financial identity fraud lawyer who could give you the best chance of protecting your freedom and preserving your reputation.
At Christopher L. Jones, Attorney at Law, we are dedicated to defending your rights and ensuring that your case gets the attention it needs. Get in touch today to set up your free case consultation.