While it may seem like a relatively new crime, the offense of “identity theft” has been around for many years. Basically, the crime happens any time that a person pretends to be someone else in order to obtain goods, services, or cash. Of course, the rapidly evolving technology in the age in which we live has caused the frequency with which the crime of identity theft is committed to grow exponentially. While identity theft is a crime that can cause great frustration and financial hardship to its victims, not everyone accused of it is guilty. If you have been charged with identity theft or another white collar crime, San Bernardino and Riverside County identity theft lawyer Gregory H. Comings can help you explore possible ways to defend yourself.
Identity theft is such a big problem that many local police departments and district attorney’s offices have staff members specifically dedicated to the task of prosecuting these types of cases. Since these professionals spend so much time on identity theft cases, they may be able to obtain a considerable amount of evidence that can be used against the defendant at trial. However, not all of the information obtained by law enforcement is admissible in court. Evidence obtained in violation of established procedures or the defendant’s constitutional rights may be excluded if the defendant is successful in moving the trial court to suppress the evidence in question. Usually, it is necessary for the defendant to file a motion in limine in order to have the court rule on the admissibility of questionably obtained evidence.Possible Defenses in a California Identity Theft Case
In addition to the exclusion of evidence obtained from an illegal search or seizure or another constitutional violation, an identity theft attorney in Riverside or San Bernardino County may be able to defeat a charge by negating an element of the State’s case. Since the prosecution has the burden of proving the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, the trial court must acquit the defendant if any of the elements of the crime in question are not proven by persuasive evidence. The elements that must be proven in an identity theft case include an unlawful, intentional acquisition and possession of the personally identifying information of another person. If any of these elements is missing, it may be possible to successfully defend a case of identity theft.
The punishment for the crime of identity theft can be severe, especially when there are multiple counts. Each felony count in state court carries a punishment of up to three years in the state penitentiary, plus restitution and fines. A felony conviction also can cause a defendant to lose their job and have difficulty finding a decent place to live in the future, and it can result in the forfeiture of certain rights like the privilege of owning a firearm. The crime of identity theft can also be punished as a federal crime, which can result in even stiffer punishments.Retain an Experienced Identity Theft Lawyer in Riverside or San Bernardino County
If you are facing prosecution on charges of identity theft, you need to avail yourself of every possible opportunity to defend yourself against these serious criminal charges. A conviction for a white collar crime like identity theft or fraud can have long-lasting effects on the defendant’s life that go far beyond jail time and fines. San Bernardino and Riverside County identity theft attorney Gregory H. Comings has been serving the criminally accused in and around Riverside County for well over a decade. To schedule an appointment to discuss the ways in which he can assist you in your defense, call (951) 686-3457 or contact us online today. Attorney Comings will always be candid with you. If a plea bargain is your wisest course of action, he will not hesitate to let you know, but he will also advise you if he sees possible defenses that could help you avoid a conviction. Gregory H. Comings also represents people who need a drug crime lawyer or assistance in fighting other criminal charges in Southern California.