Technology has become our preferred method for making purchases, sharing thoughts, and staying connected. Increasing numbers of commercial websites, social sites, and online transactions make it difficult to stay up to date with internet security. Privacy breaches occur daily dumping volumes of personal and confidential information into cyberspace for anyone to take advantage of. Stealing someone’s identity can have serious consequences in the State of California. If you have been accused or charged with identity theft, you need a lawyer who understands the law, and knows how to effectively approach your case to ensure the best outcome possible.
Identity Theft Laws in the State of California
Identity theft can be performed using different methods – which method you have been accused of will affect how the prosecution approaches your case and any potential penalties you will face, if convicted. Under California Penal Code section 528.5 committing identity theft means illegally impersonating another person over the internet, by using the internet, or through other electronic means.
The following offenses are all chargeable offenses under PC 528.5:
- Knowingly impersonating another real person over the internet, without their consent.
- Harming, intimidating, threatening, or defrauding someone else using electronic means.
- Pretending to be someone else on a social media account.
- Opening an email account in someone else’s name.
- Impersonating someone using forged documents (birth certificate, marriage license, driver’s license, etc.).
- Assuming someone else’s name in any way.
- Changing your appearance to assume the identity of someone else.
Depending on how you’ve been accused of identity theft you are going to need skillful legal representation to defend against the charges. The penalties for identity theft can be disabling – the attorneys at the Law Office of David P. Shapiro will fight every accusation to reduce or eliminate your charges.
Penalties for Identity Theft in California
Depending on the methods used to impersonate another person or steal their identity, the motivation to impersonate the other person, and any rewards obtained by doing so, the penalties for identity theft vary greatly. The prosecution will do everything in their power to convict – you need your own highly skilled legal team working on your behalf The team at the Law Office of David P. Shapiro will conduct their own investigation, forcing the prosecution to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. If you are found convicted of identity theft you could be facing any combination of the following:
- Jail or Prison time
- Fines in the thousands of dollars
- Formal probation or Parole
- Civil Liability
PC 528.5 also allows victims of identity theft suffering losses to bring additional civil actions against defendants, holding them accountable for a wide range of extra damages. It is an intimidating force stacked against you. The outcome of your case may very well depend on the quality of representation you have.
Identity Theft Defense in San Diego
If you have been arrested or accused of any type of identity theft crime in San Diego, you have a lot on the line. Confinement and court fines, social and career consequences, and untold civil penalties are all potential outcomes if charged, let alone convicted. With so much weighing on the outcome of your case, you need experienced legal counsel who:
- Knows California’s numerous identity theft laws
- Knows the San Diego County criminal courts and their key players
- Knows how the prosecution will approach your identity theft case
- Knows how to successfully defend against identity theft charges
The legal team at the Law Office of David P. Shapiro has been defending the citizens of San Diego against identity theft charges and other criminal accusations for over a decade. Locals, military members, and even tourists know they can count on us for an honest assessment, a compassionate ear, and a criminal defense attorney with a proven track record of success.
If you are ready to regain control over your case, contact our law firm today and schedule your free consultation. Sit with us, share what is going on, and let us help you get things back on track. We are proud to serve San Diego County and Southern California. There is no obligation to retain our services – for your case evaluation call the Law Office of David P. Shapiro today at 619-295-3555.