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Clarkston Identity Theft Lawyer

Continual advances in technology have made personal information far more accessible via the Internet. Consequently, criminal accusations of identity theft have risen significantly. If you are facing allegations of identity theft, you may wish to get the advice of a Clarkston identity theft lawyer.

By better understanding the parameters of identity theft, you might be able to pursue a positive outcome in your case more effectively. Identity theft is a form of fraud, differing from other forms of theft. A skilled criminal defense attorney can assist you in understanding the nuances of the law and how they might apply to your situation.

Defining Identity Theft in Clarkston

Michigan Compiled Laws §445.65 prevents individuals from using or attempting to use the personal identifying information of others with an intent to defraud or violate the law to obtain any of the following:

  • Credit
  • Goods or services
  • Money
  • Property
  • Records
  • Employment
  • Commit other unlawful acts

Furthermore, MCL §445.67 specifies additional acts that qualify as identity theft, such as sending an email on behalf of a business without its consent to gain identifying information from others or selling the personal identifying information of others with the knowledge that they will use it to commit identity theft or other crimes. A Clarkston identity theft attorney can advocate on your behalf if you are facing charges for identity theft under state law.

Affirmative Defenses to Identity Theft

The Identity Theft Protection Act provides affirmative defenses that individuals accused of this offense may be able to use in criminal prosecutions for identity theft. Those raising such defenses must prove the applicability of the defenses with a preponderance of evidence. These defenses include:

  • The individuals gave a bona fide gift to or for the benefit of the person for whose personal identifying information was used
  • The individuals were acting in lawful pursuit or enforcement of their legal rights, such as investigation of a crime, tax liability, or another claim
  • State or federal laws, rules, or regulations authorized the actions
  • The individuals had the permission of the person whose identifying information they used unless the person giving consent knew that the information would be used to commit an unlawful act

In using these defenses, individuals admit that they committed the acts alleged, but argue that they had the authority to do so. An experienced identity theft lawyer in Clarkston may be able to give advice about the relevancy of these defenses in specific cases.

Penalties for Identity Theft in Clarkston

Identity theft is a felony under state law. MCL §445.69 provides that the first conviction for identity theft can result in up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $25,000, or both. A second conviction carries the potential for up to ten years in prison and/or a fine of $50,000.

For a third or subsequent conviction, the potential prison sentence increases to a maximum of 15 years and a fine of up to $75,000. These penalties may also be in addition to any penalties that you face upon conviction for a crime that you committed using wrongfully obtained personal identifying information.

Call a Clarkston Identity Theft Attorney for Help

Identity theft can result in felony charges, carrying the potential for severe penalties. Fortunately, various affirmative defenses exist that may apply in your case.

A Clarkston identity theft lawyer can assist you in identifying these defenses and working toward resolving your case. Call today to retain excellence in criminal defense and start working on your case.