Identity Theft in Hoover
In 2016, identity theft cost U.S. consumers approximately $16 billion. It is one of the fastest-growing crimes in the nation and is monitored by the Federal Trade Commission and federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, as well as many private organizations.
It is often important for anyone facing charges of identity theft to hire a skilled attorney who is familiar with defending these types of lawsuits in the Hoover court system. A Hoover identity theft lawyer could also work to provide an appropriate defense in any civil matters that may also accompany criminal charges.Defining Identity Theft
Identity theft is the fraudulent attainment and use of someone’s private identifying information, often for financial gain. Identity theft law in Hoover prohibits various forms of identity theft, some of which are classified at different levels of severity and accordingly involve different punishments.
Identity theft is also a Class B felony and involves any activity in which a person uses another’s identity to acquire goods, services, or employment, without the permission of that person. It also includes using another’s private, personal information for personal benefit without that person’s permission. In Hoover, Alabama, identity theft can result in a prison term of up to 20 years and up to $30,000 in fines. Due to these severe penalties, it is imperative that a person charged with this offense get in contact with a Hoover identity theft lawyer immediately.Trafficking in Stolen Identities
Trafficking in stolen identities is also a Class B felony, in which someone manufactures or engages in the trading of identification documents for money or goods of value in order to commit identity fraud. Like identity theft, trafficking in stolen identities is punishable by between two to 20 years of imprisonment and a maximum $30,000 fine.
A person may be considered to be trafficking in stolen identities if they are found to have five or more identification documents or pieces of identifying information belonging to one or more other people without their permission, with the intent of stealing their identity. Identifying information can include credit card information, date of birth, driver’s license numbers, bank account information, social security numbers, fingerprints, and passwords. Speak with a Hoover identity theft lawyer to learn more.Obstructing Justice Using a False Identity
If a person uses false documents or identification to avoid arrest in Hoover, they can be charged with a Class C felony and face penalties of one to ten years in prison and up to a $15,000 fine. Interfering with prosecution or an ongoing investigation in this manner also qualifies as obstructing justice using a false identity.Federal Prosecution
It is not uncommon for trafficking in stolen identities charges—or any identity theft crimes that cross state or international lines—to be funneled to the United States Attorney’s Office. When this happens, these charges are prosecuted in federal court, although state charges can still be brought as well.Civil Identity Theft Cases
In Alabama, victims of identity theft have the right to sue perpetrators who stole their identities. Because of this, it is possible that someone facing identity theft charges may face both a civil and criminal cases against them.
Victims of identity theft can bring suit against defendants for:
- Unjust enrichment
- Intentional infliction of emotional distress
If you were charged with any form of identity theft, a Hoover identity theft lawyer with experience in both state and federal courts could be essential to your defense against these charges. Contact an attorney in Hoover today to begin working on your case.