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Bloomfield Hills Identity Theft Lawyer

Identity theft can involve the use of someone’s personal information to obtain money or financial services and can also range from business dealings to applying for a job. Allegations of identity theft carry serious punishment under state laws, with a conviction treated as a felony.

A Bloomfield Hills identity theft lawyer could help those who have been accused of identity theft defend against such charges. An experienced attorney could work with individuals to help them understand the full impact of the charges, formulate an effective defense, and execute that defense in court.

What is Identity Theft?

Michigan Compiled Law §445.65 states that it is illegal for any person to obtain any goods, services, credit, or anything of value using the personal information of another person. Additionally, to be considered identity theft, a person must perform these acts with the intent of defrauding another party.

Common examples of this type of identity theft include:

  • Applying for a credit card with another person’s Social Security number
  • Using another person’s credit history to take out a loan for a home
  • Using a stolen driver’s license to rent a car

State laws expand the definition of identity theft to include other, less obvious examples. For example, the sale of personal information with the knowledge that it will be used for fraud counts as identity theft. The impersonation of an employee of a business is also identity theft – it is just as illegal to impersonate a business as it is a person.

Any of these offenses is generally a felony. According to Michigan Compiled Law §445.69, first-time offenders can be punished by up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $25,000, or both. A second offense raises the maximum prison sentence to ten years and the potential fine to $50,000. Finally, all subsequent offenses raise the potential jail term to 15 years and the fine to $75,000.

What Defenses does the Law Provide?

As with any criminal allegation, the State needs to prove that the defendant not only committed the illegal act but also possessed the necessary intent. Michigan Compiled Law §445.65(2) recognizes this by allowing defendants to provide what courts consider legitimate reasons for obtaining the personal information of others.

Workers in hospitals, employees of state agencies, or law enforcement personnel all come into contact with people’s personal information. The law specifically states that it is an appropriate defense in court to argue that all possession of personal information was allowed by law.

Additionally, defendants may argue that their use of the information was allowed by the owner. A common example is if the child of an elderly parent conducts a real estate transaction on their behalf. A Bloomfield Hills identity theft lawyer can work to identify all possible defenses and put them into action.

A Bloomfield Hills Identity Theft Attorney Can Help

Any allegation of identity theft is a serious matter. Whether a person is facing allegations that they used the identity of another to purchase an item, to apply for credit, or to sell to someone, the potential consequences may be serious. A conviction will label a person as a felon and can result in multiple years in prison.

If you are facing this possibility, you need to give yourself every possible advantage. Hiring a Bloomfield Hills identity theft lawyer can be a strong first step. Attorneys work with people to understand their side of the story, discover holes in the prosecutor’s case, and present a powerful defense in court. Contact a lawyer today to schedule an appointment to discuss your case.