Grand Rapids Identity Theft Lawyer

Incidents referred to as identity theft also may involve violations of Michigan’s traditional fraud and larceny laws. Because some of the legal provisions are so specific, they also give rise to a number of specific defenses that may be raised in an identity theft case. These defenses can be effectively utilized using a Grand Rapids identity theft lawyer.

It can be a confusing experience, so anyone charged with crimes involving identity theft should meet with an experienced criminal lawyer in Grand Rapids who can explain the potential ramifications of the charges and explore the best available defenses.

Identity Theft Protection

Michigan’s Identity Theft Protection Act makes it a crime for an individual to use personal identifying information belonging to someone else do any of the following:

  • Obtain credit
  • Purchase goods or property
  • Order services
  • Get money
  • Obtain information such as medical records
  • Gain employment
  • Commit any other unlawful act

The statute specifies that in order for a violation to occur, the person using the identity of another must either have the intent to commit fraud or violate the law or must be concealing, withholding, or misrepresenting their own identity. This clause can be defended by an experienced identity theft attorney in Grand Rapids.

It is important to establish the facts of the case, including the state of mind of the parties involved and how they have represented themselves to others.

Personal Identifying Information

The statute defines personal identifying information that may not be used by others as a name, number, or other information that is used for the purpose of identifying a specific person or providing access to a person’s financial accounts. A list of examples given in the statute includes:

  • Names
  • Addresses
  • Telephone numbers
  • Driver’s license or state ID numbers
  • Social security numbers
  • Name of employer or employee ID number
  • Passport numbers
  • Health insurance numbers
  • Mother’s maiden name
  • Bank account numbers or passwords
  • Credit card numbers
  • Electronic signatures
  • Medical records or information

To further understand the personal identifying information that may not be used by others in an identity theft case, consult with a Grand Rapids identity theft lawyer immediately.

Building a Defense in Grand Rapids, Michigan

The statute sets forth four specific defenses that may be asserted in either a civil case or a criminal case.  The first defense is that the information was used in conjunction with a gift given to the person whose identifying information was used.

A second possible defense is that the person whose identifying information was used consented to that use. However, consent will not provide a valid defense if the person consenting knew the information would be used for an illegal purpose.

A third defense listed in the statute is that the information was used in pursuit of legal rights, such as investigating a crime, conducting an audit, or transferring a debt or other obligation.

The final defense is that the identifying information was used to fulfill the requirement of law or a court order. Given the circumstances involved, other arguments may be raised in defense as well. Any of these defenses can be employed by an identity theft lawyer in Grand Rapids.

How a Grand Rapids Identity Theft Lawyer Can Help

A Grand Rapids identity theft attorney with thorough knowledge of the statutes governing identity theft as well as those covering related crimes such as fraud and larceny will be able to apply the law to the circumstances of a particular case and explain the possible legal outcomes and likely scenarios.

Identity theft lawyers in Grand Rapids will then work with the client to help build the best defense and provide guidance through the legal process with a goal of achieving the best possible outcome.