Federal Criminal Defense Attorney in West Palm Beach - Identity Theft

Identity theft is a crime involving the illegal use of another individual's identity, usually to gain access to that person's bank and/or credit card accounts or to open new accounts in that person's name. Since identify theft often involves the use of computers and the postal service, prosecutors often attach additional federal charges related to the use of a "communication device" (cyber crime or wire fraud) and the postal service in the commission of a crime (mail fraud). As a result, people accused of identity theft often face multiple charges.  The federal crime of aggravated identity theft, which requires the use of at least 2 fraudulent identification documents, carries a mandatory 2-year consecutive sentence, meaning that each count of conviction will add an additional 2 years to the sentence imposed for the other charges.

Ann Fitz counsels and defends people accused of committing federal identity theft in West Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, and Miami. She has worked with private investigators, computer experts, handwriting experts, and other professionals in building her client's defense to identity theft charges.  If you're currently under investigation or have already been arrested on charges of identity theft, contact the Law Office of Ann Fitz today.

Facing Allegations of Identity Theft

There are many different techniques used to obtain another individual's personal data for illegal use, including: 

  • "Dumpster Diving," ­ when garbage cans or a communal trash bin is rummaged through to obtain copies of checks, credit card or bank statements, or other records that typically bear sensitive information such as names, addresses, and telephone numbers. 
  • Retrieving or intercepting another's mail, most typically applications for "pre-approved" credit cards, which are subsequently activated without the knowledge of the individual. 
  • Stealing personal information in computer databases or through unsecured WiFi networks. 
  • "Phishing," when personal data is obtained by an individual impersonating a trusted organization in an e-mail.  

With enough identifying information about an individual, that individual's identity can be assumed to conduct a wide range of crimes, such as: false applications for loans and credit cards, fraudulent withdrawals from bank accounts, fraudulent use of telephone calling cards or gift cards, or obtaining other goods or privileges that might be denied if the person assuming the identity were to use his or her real name.

Identity theft is a serious crime which has become more popular through the use of the Internet. If you have been charged with identity theft, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney who will aggressively fight the charges against you. Contact us today to schedule a free, confidential consultation.