Identity theft may be a white-collar crime, but it can carry steep penalties. If you’re facing criminal charges for identity theft in West Chester, PA, call DiCindio Law, LLC at (610) 430-3535 or contact us to start building your legal defense today. An experienced West Chester identity theft lawyer can make the difference between freedom and years in prison.
Our lawyers have over ten years of experience helping clients fight serious criminal charges. With a former prosecutor by your side, you can rest assured that we’ll make it as difficult as possible for the prosecution to convict.
It’s never too early to get started. If you even suspect that law enforcement is investigating you for identity theft, call our law offices in West Chester, Pennsylvania, to schedule a free consultation.
How DiCindio Law, LLC Can Help if You Are Accused of Identity Theft in West Chester, PA
If you’ve been charged with a crime, you should expect state prosecutors to throw all of their resources into securing a conviction. If convicted, you can expect to spend time behind bars, and you’ll likely be required to repay victims to compensate for their losses.
On the other hand, not everyone accused of a crime is guilty. You deserve an experienced West Chester theft crimes attorney who will vigorously fight to protect your legal rights.
At DiCindio Law, LLC, we have over ten years of experience handling complex criminal cases. We’re ready to put our experience and resources to work for you.
Hiring our team means that you’ll have a lawyer to:
- Explain all of your legal options
- Review the evidence and develop an effective defense strategy
- Gather evidence to create reasonable doubt
- Poke holes in the prosecution’s case
- Negotiate with prosecutors to secure the best outcome possible
- Help you understand the implications of any plea bargain
To avoid a criminal conviction, you can’t sit back and wait for a judge and jury to hear your case. You have to start building your defense quickly. Call our law offices today to schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced Chester County identity theft lawyer.
Overview of Identity Theft Laws in Pennsylvania
Identity theft is the criminal charge that applies when you’re accused of using someone else’s personal or financial information without their permission.
Under Pennsylvania state law, the prosecution can convict on identity theft charges if prosecutors can prove that you possessed or used another person’s identifying information for unlawful purposes. You don’t have to steal physical property to be convicted of identity theft.
Some common examples of identity theft include:
- Using someone else’s credit card to make purchases
- Obtaining a new credit card using someone else’s Social Security number
- Forging someone else’s name on a check
- Filing a tax return in someone else’s name to obtain their tax refund
- Using someone else’s Social Security cards or health insurance
- Using someone else’s personal information to obtain government benefits
Often, identity theft involves multiple actions. Technically, each act that amounts to identity theft can be charged as a separate crime. On the other hand, law enforcement will aggregate the value of any services, property, or money you obtained over the course of the criminal offense when determining your punishment.
Under Pennsylvania criminal laws, identity theft can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor. If the total value involved is under $2,000, an identity theft offense is a misdemeanor of the first degree. If the value of the stolen property is more than $2,000, the offense is a third-degree felony. If the offense is the third or subsequent conviction, the offense is a felony of the second degree.
What Are the Penalties for an Identity Theft Conviction in Pennsylvania?
The Pennsylvania criminal sentencing guidelines provide the courts with various penalties that can apply if you’re convicted of a crime.
If convicted of identity theft, could face jail time and financial penalties for:
- Summary offense: between zero and 90 days in jail and up to $250 in fines
- Third-degree misdemeanor: 90 days in jail and up to $5,000 in fines
- Second-degree misdemeanor: two years in jail and up to $5,000 in fines
- First-degree misdemeanor: five years in jail and up to $10,000 in fines
- Third-degree felony: seven years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines
- Second-degree felony: ten years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines
Courts will also consider the extent of the harm you’ve caused when determining your punishment if convicted. It’s also possible that you could face enhanced penalties if you have a prior criminal record.
What Defenses Can Be Raised if I’m Accused of Identity Theft in West Chester, PA?
You have the right to a strong defense if you’ve been charged with identity theft. Our West Chester identity theft attorneys at DiCindio Law, LLC are familiar with the defense strategies that are likely to be effective in court.
The following defenses may make it difficult or impossible for the prosecution to prove that you’re guilty beyond a reasonable doubt:
- You did not use someone else’s personal information for an illegal or fraudulent purpose
- You didn’t have the required criminal intent to commit the crime
- You had permission to use someone else’s personal information
- You were falsely accused
Our lawyers will carefully analyze the facts of your case to build a custom-tailored defense strategy. For more information about our criminal law practice areas and experience, call our law firm in West Chester today.
Contact a West Chester Identity Theft Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Were you arrested for identity theft in West Chester or Chester County, PA? Call DiCindio Law, LLC for immediate legal assistance. A West Chester identity theft lawyer can start working to build your effective legal defense today.