Maryland Criminal Defense Lawyers For Identity Theft Charges
Maryland identity theft law covers an incredibly wide range of situations – many of which can be misinterpreted or altogether mismanaged by prosecutors.
Don’t let identity theft charges drag your good name through the mud. JC Law works hard to ensure our clients are insulated from unfounded suspicions and attacks from those looking for a conviction.
How Can I Be Charged With Identity Theft In Maryland?
Maryland state law on identity theft – technically called “Identity Fraud” – covers a wide range of situations. Basically, it’s illegal in Maryland to:
- Personally obtain or help someone else obtain legally private personal information
- Use a computer or electronic device to “maliciously” get personal information to then harass someone else
- Purposefully “assume the identity of another” to get a “benefit […] or thing of value” – such as open a credit card in someone else’s name – or to avoid a crime
When Maryland prosecutors accuse someone of identity theft, that means they believe the accused used someone else’s information to:
- Harass or otherwise threaten someone else, such as “doxing” them for online “trolls”
- Open credit cards, apply for loans, or steal money and other assets by pretending to be the other individual
- Avoid being found or otherwise prosecuted for crimes under their own identities, such as using another individual’s log-in credentials to frame them for child pornography distribution
As outlined in the Maryland criminal code, identity theft can also be charged against individuals who access and record private information – even if they personally don’t use it for any criminal purpose.
What Sort Of Personally Identifying Information Can Be Used During Identity Theft?
In Maryland, personal identifying information in an identity theft or identity fraud case means an alleged victim’s:
- Full legal name
- Telephone number
- Driver’s license
- Social Security Number
- Employer information
- Health insurance information
- Private security question answers
- “Unique biometric data,” such as fingerprints, voice prints, or retina scans
- Credit card and “other payment device numbers”
Basically, any and all private and personal information that another individual can use to falsely assume someone else’s identity or otherwise commit crimes based on it.
What Sort Of Punishments Can Someone Get For Identity Theft In Maryland?
Criminal sentences for identity theft convictions in Maryland vary based on exactly what happened, how much damage was caused, and/or how much was stolen from the victim.
- If less than $500 in damages, then an identity theft conviction results in a misdemeanor sentence with up to 18 months in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.
- If more than $500 in damages, then an identity theft conviction results in a felony sentence with up to five years in jail and a fine of up to $25,000.
That doesn’t include the convicted defendant’s possible repayment of court fees and any other restitution required to make the victim “whole” after the identity theft.
What Are Possible Identity Theft Defenses By A Criminal Defense Lawyer?
As ironic as it is, one of a criminal defense lawyer’s possible defenses against identity theft charges levied against their client could be: Is the prosecution sure they have the right person?
While the victim’s personal information may have been stolen, it’s possible for the defendant to have been framed for the actual identity theft itself, so the real perpetrator escapes prosecution.
There’s also the level of the offense – exactly what information was stolen, in what context, and whether it was used to the detriment of the alleged victim. Each of these components can impact possible sentences – or even filed charges – depending on the situation.
One of the best ways criminal defense lawyers defend their clients from identity theft charges is to prevent charges from ever being filed in the first place. That’s why we recommend consulting with a criminal defense lawyer as soon as you realize you’re under investigation for possible identity theft or other criminal charges.
Once you retain a great legal defense, they can ensure any evidence that exonerates you is preserved while ensuring that the prosecution doesn’t charge an innocent individual with as serious a criminal offense as identity theft.
“Mr. Groves is a bright and intelligent attorney. I was impressed by his knowledge and understanding of the law. He showed excellence in his choice of words to persuade the magistrate to allow the truth to prevail. I highly recommended Mr. Groves to anyone who wants a lawyer that knows how to defend and fight for justice. Blessings”
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