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Identity theft is a serious crime that involves stealing someone’s “Identifying information” to commit fraud or other illegal activities. “Identifying information” includes:
In Texas, a person commits Identity Theft if the person, with the intent to harm or defraud another, obtains, possesses, transfers, or uses an item of “Identification Information” of another without the other person’s consent. This includes the use of identification information of a deceased person or of a child younger than 18 years of age.
In Texas, identity theft is considered a felony offense that can result in severe legal and financial consequences. If you are charged with identity theft in Texas, you must be aware of the potential consequences and take immediate action to protect your rights and defend yourself against the charges. This is an overview of the legal and financial consequences of a Texas identity theft conviction and offers tips on protecting yourself if facing these charges.
In Texas, the accused is presumed to have the intent to harm or defraud another if the accused possesses the identifying information of three or more other persons.
In Texas, identity theft is a felony offense that can result in significant legal penalties. The level of felony offense is dictated by the alleged number of items the accused possessed. An offense is:
The punishment range can be increased by one level if the offense was committed against the elderly or in connection with the offense of failure to register as a sex offender.
Identity theft can result in significant financial losses for the victim, and if you are convicted, you may be required to pay restitution for these losses. If convicted of identity theft, in addition to facing a potential prison sentence, you could be ordered to make restitution to the alleged victim. Restitution can include the costs of any goods or services obtained using the victim’s identity, as well as any expenses related to correcting credit reports or other financial accounts.
An identity theft conviction can have long-term consequences on your personal and professional life. A criminal record can make finding employment, obtaining housing, or qualifying for loans or credit cards difficult. It can also impact your ability to travel, vote, or own firearms. The stigma associated with a criminal conviction can follow you for years and have lasting effects on your life.
Additionally, an identity theft conviction can impact your financial situation. In addition to fines and restitution, you may face higher insurance premiums, difficulty obtaining credit, and the loss of professional licenses or certifications. An identity theft conviction can also impact your ability to obtain employment, as many employers conduct background checks before hiring new employees.
If you have been charged with identity theft in Texas, it’s important to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney can review the facts of your case and develop a defense strategy that protects your rights and interests.
One possible defense against an identity theft charge is that the accused is engaged in business that is engaged in legitimate business activities. For example, it is not illegal for a restaurant to use a customer’s credit card, with the customer’s consent, to pay for a meal.
Another possible defense against an identity theft charge is mistaken identity. Sometimes, the victim may have incorrectly identified you as responsible for the crime. Another potential defense is a lack of criminal intent, where you may have used the personal information for legitimate purposes.
Another possible defense against an identity theft charge is that you were expressly granted permission to use the other person’s “Identifying information,” and you did not exceed that permission.
Another possible defense against an identity theft charge is that you were expressly granted permission to use the other person’s “Identifying information,” and you did not exceed that permission, but someone else stole the information from you and used it without authority.
It’s important to note that each case is unique, and the specific defense strategies available to you will depend on the facts of your case. An experienced attorney can evaluate your situation and help you understand your legal options.
The best way to protect yourself against identity theft charges is to never obtain another person’s “Identifying information” without the other person’s express consent. If you are given permission to use another person’s “Identifying information,” make certain you have written proof that you were granted permission and make certain that you never exceed the permission granted. If you are given another person’s “Identifying information,” you must proactively safeguard the information from third-party theft. This includes using strong passwords and avoiding sharing personal information online.
If you face an identity theft charge in Texas, it’s important to take the charges seriously and seek legal representation as soon as possible. A skilled criminal defense attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options and work to minimize the impact of the charges on your life.
The client believed to be facing potential Wire Fraud Charges related to SBA PPP loan applications. Investigation of applications for PPP loans and PPP forgiveness demonstrated that the Client had at all times acted in a lawful manner. Investigation demonstrated no fraud was committed by the client. Case closed.
Client was charged by Federal Indictment with making a social media post that threatened Malicious Damage and Destruction of a Building by Means of Fire and Explosives in violation of Federal law. The Defense showed that Client was a law-abiding citizen. The Defense further showed that the alleged threat was not made with any criminal intent.
The client, a public official with a long history of public service, was accused by a former girlfriend of engaging in non-consensual sexual relations. The Defense investigation and analysis showed through a detailed timeline that the allegation made absolutely no sense. Phone records, including calls and texts, were relied on to help establish an accurate timeline. The Defense met with law enforcement and reviewed a detailed package that exonerated the accused.
Client, a Houston area professional who frequently travels for work, was accused by his wife of assaulting her in his family home. Defense showed that wife’s story lacked credibility and there was no physical evidence in support of the wife’s allegation.
The client, a young Black male, was driving his car when police pulled him over for no apparent reason. It looked to be a profile stop. The client was accused of possessing a controlled substance in his vehicle. The Defense showed that there was no lawful basis for the police to stop the Client’s car. The Defense also showed that there was no lawful basis for the search of the Client’s car. It was a bad search, so the seized evidence was not admissible.
Client charged in Federal Indictment In “Operation Wrecking Ball” with 55 named co-defendants. Client faced seven charges. Client was charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine and Conspiracy to Engage in Money Laundering. Client was also charged with four counts of Distribution of Cocaine and one count of Money laundering.
Allegations involved client’s alleged use of his home to distribute cocaine. Government’s lengthy investigation involved numerous wiretaps, surveillance, video, pole cams, search warrants, vehicle stops and use of cooperating co-defendants.
Client went to trial with four remaining defendants. After a two-week trial, Judge granted Motion for Acquittal on four of the seven charges. Jury found Client Not Guilty of remaining three charges.
Client charged in Federal Court with two counts of Wire Fraud related to Five SBA EIDL loan applications. The Government alleged the client, a Houston professional, defrauded the Small Business Administration out of over $150,000. The Government also found the intended loss was over half a million dollars. The Client faced up to 20 years in prison on each count. The Defense investigated the case and negotiated a deal that included the Government not opposing a probation. The Federal Guideline calculation was for a prison sentence and the Probation Department recommended a prison sentence. Attorney Fickman submitted a 90 page Defense Sentencing Memorandum asking for Probation.
Client was retired professional. Client was accused of being involved in a road rage incident in 1960 Area. Defense put together a 100 page memorandum that demonstrated complainant was actual aggressor.
Client was accused of touching child. Case involved thousands of pages of psychiatric and Child Protective Services records as well as investigations by multiple police departments. After three- year fight, case dismissed.
Client accused of shoving and knocking down family member causing injury. After investigation, charges were dismissed.
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