There are many different categories of charges that are considered theft under the California Penal Code. Similarly, there are many different acts that will constitute Identity Theft. The Judge and Prosecution will consider two major aspects of the facts to determine the consequence of the charge. An experienced Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney, such as those at Hoffman and Associates, have seen thousands of Identity Theft cases and are familiar with the many different scenarios and defenses they entail. They are able to present a powerful argument focused on the two major components of an Identity Theft charge.
The first major aspect of the facts that will be considered is what it was that was stolen using the identity. Did the person use a stolen credit card to buy diapers for their baby in the amount of $20? Or did they take a $5,000 trip to Tahiti? When the value of the stolen item is over $400, it becomes a much more serious case and is generally tried as a felony. When the value is lower than $400, it falls at the lower end of the spectrum and is tried as a misdemeanor.
The second factor assessed by the court will be the manner in which the Identity was stolen. For example, were credit cards taken from a wallet, or did someone hack into personal secured information on a computer? The focus will be on the how sophisticated or amateur the act was.
One of our most recent cases dealt with a young adolescent who had stolen the credit cards from his roommate’s wallet and used them to purchase ski equipment. Although this case involved a simple method to obtain financial information, and items that were lower in value, it still involves complex consequences.
Regardless of how the case is charged, and even if it falls at the lower end of the spectrum, it is important to note that any charge of theft on one’s record will result in serious consequences not only in regards to a Judge’s sentence, but other aspects of your life as well. To ensure that your rights are protected and you are given the best possible representation, hire an attorney who has a solid reputation with the criminal courts in Southern California. We prepare a powerful defense aimed at not only reducing your charges but in many cases dismissing them as well. Contact our office today for a no obligation consultation.