Federal Identity Theft Defense Lawyer in Houston

Harris County Identity Theft Lawyer

Is Identity Theft a Federal Crime in Texas?

Identity theft charges can sometimes be challenging to understand. "Identity theft" is something of a catch-all term referring to many different types of conduct that involve using another person's personal information without their consent. Identity theft is often, but not always, committed with financial motives. Any time you pose as another person on financial or official documents, like a credit card application, you may be committing identity theft. Some individuals are charged with this crime due to well-intentioned conduct, such as applying for a credit card for an elderly relative without the proper legal paperwork in place.

If you have been charged with identity theft, you could be in serious legal jeopardy. The penalties for identity theft at the federal level can be extremely harsh, sometimes involving decades in prison. A good defense is critical. Bennett & Bennett has the many years of experience in federal courtrooms needed to design the strongest defense possible for you. In some cases, we may be able to help you avoid being convicted of money laundering through plea bargaining or a powerful defense at trial. Our goal is to return you to your life as it was before.

Types of Identity Theft that Can Lead to Federal Prosecution

Identity theft can be charged at the federal or state level. It is defined generally as fraudulently using or possessing identifying information with the intent to defraud or harm another. Federal charges are often more serious, but also common. Identity theft can be prosecuted federally if any aspect of the crime crossed state lines, such as if your victim or a financial institution used are in another state. This is common when the offense is committed over the internet.

Identity theft can take many forms, including but not limited to:

  • Financial actions in another's name—Taking out a credit card or loan under another person's name is a very common form of identity theft. You may also face fraud charges.
  • Giving a false name—People who are being arrested sometimes panic and give the police another person's name, hoping to avoid their charges.
  • Using another's account—Stealing another party's login information for their bank account, stock portfolio, or other financial service from which money can be withdrawn, is likely to be considered identity fraud.
  • Using a fake ID—If you use a fake, found, or stolen official form of ID that is in the name of another person, this may be considered identity theft. Dealing in or producing falsified ID's can also lead to more serious identity theft charges.

This is by no means an exclusive list of all types of conduct that can be prosecuted as identity theft. Rather, these are but illustrative examples.

Penalties for Federal Identity Theft

Identity theft is treated as a very serious crime because it can have a severe impact on any victims involved. The more victims involved and the worse the harm done to them is, the harsher your sentence could be if you are convicted. The offense may be considered aggravated and punished more seriously in certain situations, such as if the scheme involved committing another crime like drug trafficking.

People convicted of federal identity theft may face anywhere from two to 30 or more years in prison depending on the circumstances. The fines are also generally quite significant and may cost more than the amount you brought in during the course of the offense.

If you are facing this serious charge, it is very important that you secure good legal representation right away. The sooner you have a lawyer, the sooner they can begin taking steps to protect you.

Contact a Houston Federal Identity Theft Lawyer

Bennett & Bennett is uniquely experienced in federal white collar criminal defense. Our practiced attorneys will do all we can to keep you free and fight back against your charges. To arrange your initial consultation with a skilled attorney, contact us today at 713-224-1747.

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