Prince William County Identity Fraud Lawyer
Identity fraud takes place when an individual steals or otherwise uses the identifying information of another person, and uses this information to conduct a financial transaction in the name of the latter, or to steal their property in some way. If you have been charged with this offense or believe you may be under investigation it is important to consult with an attorney immediately because they cases are often won or lost during the preliminary phase. This occurs because either the defendant makes statements that incriminate themselves or a defendant may make statements early on in the investigation that are inconsistent with later statements. Whether these discrepancies are intentional or accidental, simply due to nerves, poor memory, duress, or some other factor, they can only serve to strengthen the case that the prosecution is building from the very beginning. For these reasons, talking to an experienced Prince William County identity fraud lawyer as soon as possible to identify those steps is key.
The consequences of an identity fraud conviction can be extensive. The conviction can be for either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the details of the case, such as the amount in question and the number of people affected. Identity fraud as a misdemeanor is punishable with up to a year in jail and/or a $2,500.00 fine. Identity fraud in its felony form is a Class Six Felony, which means that the punishment is up to five years in prison and a fine up to $2,500.00. The penalties can increase depending on the number of victims who have been affected by the alleged criminal conduct which makes contacting an experienced identity fraud attorney especially important.
The most unique defense to identity fraud is the defendant did not know that they were committing identity fraud. A person may be utilizing a gift card under the mistaken belief that it is legitimate and only later finds out that it was not. In this case, the Prince William County identity fraud lawyer would bring the mistake to the attention of the court.
How An Attorney Can Help
Navigating an identity fraud charge can be complex and at times confusing process. An experienced and knowledgeable Prince William County identity fraud attorney will provide support to someone charged with fraud by guiding them through the process, at the same time giving them sound advice in every important phase, and help them to make the best decisions as the case progresses.
In addition, an attorney will protect your rights throughout the entire process, making sure that you are not taken advantage of by the prosecuting attorney or attorneys in the trial setting. An experienced attorney will also make sure that your rights were not violated during the investigation of the case.
A court appearance is an adversarial setting. That means that someone is trying to win and someone will lose. The government is represented by a prosecuting attorney, who is trying to prove that you are at fault, and whose goal is ultimately to convict you in a court of law.
You cannot afford to go into that setting without the support of an attorney that is advocating for you, doing everything that they can do to make sure that you are not convicted, and ensure that you are treated fairly in the process.