Identity Theft in Covington County
While some cases involving identity theft are as simple as the alleged theft of a stranger’s credit card number in order to purchase goods or services, other cases involve complex financial transactions that require extensive documentation. Whatever the circumstances of your case may be, a conviction for identity theft can result in very harsh penalties under Alabama law.
As a result, if you or a loved one is accused of identity theft, you may want to call on a Covington County identity theft lawyer for advice. Reach out today and schedule a consultation with a dedicated fraud attorney.Defining Identity Theft in Covington County
Under Alabama Criminal Code § 13A-8-192, identity theft occurs when individuals take certain types of actions with the intent to defraud without the authorization or consent of another for their benefit or to benefit a third person. Identify theft involves any the following actions:
- Obtaining identifying information that would allow individuals to access financial resources, identification documents, or benefits of another
- Obtaining goods or service by using another’s identifying information
- Obtaining identifying documents in another’s name
- Obtaining employment by using another’s identifying information
Identifying information includes several different identifiers, including names, dates of birth, social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, bank accounts, credit or debit card numbers, personal identification numbers (PINs), fingerprints, passwords, parents’ legal surnames prior to marriage, and any other numbers or information that could be used to access individuals’ financial resources, obtain identification, or act as identification to procure goods or services.
Alabama’s identity theft law specifically excludes individuals who use another identity in order to misrepresent their age for the purpose of obtaining tobacco or alcoholic beverages, or any other privilege that is not available to minors.Identity Theft Penalties
Identity theft is a Class B felony under Alabama law, which carries a minimum period of incarceration of two years, and a potential period of incarceration of up to 20 years. Because these penalties are so severe, someone charged with identity theft should not hesitate before consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney.Other Crimes Under This Statute
A related crime is trafficking in stolen identities pursuant to Alabama Criminal Code § 13A-9-193. This criminal offense occurs when individuals manufacture, sell, transfer, purchase or possess identifying information of others, without their consent, with the intent to commit identity theft. Trafficking in stolen identities also is a Class B felony under Alabama law.
Another closely related criminal offense is obstructing justice using a false identity, as set forth by Alabama Criminal Code § 13A-9-194. Individuals obstruct justice using a false identity if they use identification documents or identifying information of another or a fictitious person in order to avoid summons, arrest, or prosecution, or to obstruct an ongoing criminal investigation. A Covington County identity theft lawyer could fully explain the specific statutes that apply to an individual’s situation.Time Limits on Prosecutions for Identity Theft
There also is a statute of limitations on prosecutions for identity theft. This means that the state of Alabama only can prosecute individuals for identity theft for seven years following the commission of the offense.Speak With a Covington County Identity Theft Attorney
The potential consequences of a conviction for identity theft, trafficking in stolen identities, or obstructing justice using a false identity are severe. These criminal offenses are all felonies that carry the substantial risk of incarceration for a significant period of time.
There are defenses that may be applicable in your case, however, contacting a Covington County identity theft lawyer may be your only means of discovering and raising these defenses. Consider setting up a time to speak with an experienced identity theft defense attorney today.