Identity Theft Charges in Dallas
What is Identity Theft in Texas?
Identity theft is the act of one individual taking another individual’s personal identifying information without the latter’s permission. Such personal identifying information includes name, address, Social Security number, birth date, and any financial information. Generally, this personal information can be used to open credit card accounts, apply for a job, or use existing bank information to make unauthorized purchases.
Texas Law & Identity Theft
Texas state law has mandated that any unauthorized use or possession of personal identifying information is against the law. According to the law, a person may not obtain, possess, transfer, or use personal identifying information of another person without the other’s consent and with the intent to obtain a good, service, insurance, extension of credit, or any other thing of value in the other person’s name.
What Penalties do You Face After Being Arrested on Identity Theft Charges?
When an individual is charged with the crime of identity theft, he faces a variety of different penalties. In fact, a defendant faces both civil and criminal punishment.
Civil Penalties in Texas for Identity Theft
If convicted of identity theft in Texas, you will likely be forced to pay a fine anywhere between $2,000 and $50,000 for each offense. In addition to fines, the court is allowed to grant equitable relief as it deems necessary. Generally, equitable relief is meant to:
- Prevent any future harm towards an identity theft victim; or
- Successfully satisfy any outstanding judgment entered against the individual at issue.
Furthermore, the state of Texas also allows for the Attorney General to recover any reasonable expenses incurred through obtaining injunctive relief or civil penalties.
Criminal Penalties in Texas for Identity Theft
Criminal penalties related to identity theft may include jail time and heavy fines. In Texas, the crime of identity theft is considered a felony and therefore carries severe penalties. Similar to other felonies, the penalties will vary depending on how many items were unlawfully possessed and/or transferred by the defendant.
- State Jail Felony: This charge is appropriate when the number of items is under five. The associated penalty is between 180 days to two years in prison and fine for as much as $10,000.
- Third Degree Felony: This is the proper charge when the number of items is between five and nine. The associated penalty includes two to ten years in prison and a fine for as much as $10,000.
- Second Degree Felony: This is the proper charge when the number of items is between ten and forty-nine. The penalties involved with this charge are a prison term anywhere between two and twenty years and a fine for as much as $10,000.
- First Degree Felony: This charge is appropriate when the number of items involved is fifty or more. The associated penalty includes two to ninety-nine years in prison and a fine for as much as $10,000.
Contact an Attorney from The Wilder Firm
If you are facing charges after an arrest related to identity theft, contact an experienced Dallas attorney who has the skills and knowledge needed to work with the facts of your individual case and create a proper defense for your particular situation.
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