Facing accusations of identity theft in North Carolina is serious. The authorities often operate within federal guidelines dictating how to handle those accused of this offense.

If you face charges of identity theft, you may want to know what you potentially face. At the Law Office of Kevin L. Barnett, we strive to provide you with the most relevant and recent developments in criminal law. As such, we have put together a summary of basic identity theft information.

Identity theft defined

Identity theft is no longer just about taking someone’s credit cards. It has grown over time to include a sophisticated means of obtaining personal information that is then utilized to assume a person’s entire identity. While it does not always involve finances, a large number of cases do. However, whether your charges include financial theft or not, the penalties are still sobering.

The federal penalty for identity theft

The Department of Justice set forth a list of the offenses that fall into the identity theft category. The handling of each case is dependent on the crime. The statutes call for a prison term of no more than 15 years if found guilty of knowingly stealing someone’s identity.

What this means for your defense

When the prosecution is investigating the allegations against you, they will look for evidence that you purposely participated in taking someone else’s identity through:

  • Physical theft (credit cards, Social Security card, driver’s license)
  • Mail interception
  • Computer hacking

However, if the authorities cannot prove that you intentionally set out to commit the crime, they may not have a case against you.

The issue of identity theft charges is serious. Visit our website for further insight on this and other crimes.