When Can a Person Be Charged With Identity Theft in Illinois?
The Internet has become one of the most important elements of the modern world. As Internet use becomes more and more pervasive, so do Internet-based crimes. Cybercrime can include identity theft, information theft, hacking, phishing, fraud, and more. Hacking and other types of cybercrimes are looked upon by some people as little more than a recreational activity. A number of television shows and movies have glamorized certain forms of cybercrime while downplaying the severity of these offenses. To be clear, identity theft and other types of Internet crimes are serious criminal offenses that are punishable by harsh fines and substantial jail time in Illinois.
Financial Identity Theft Versus Criminal Identity Theft
Financial identity theft occurs when an individual illegally acquires another party’s financial information and uses it to make withdrawals from the victim’s bank account, open credit card accounts in the victim’s name, apply for loans, make unauthorized purchases, and more. There are countless ways that this type of identity theft can happen. For example, financial identity theft may occur when the alleged offender finds the victim’s credit card details discarded in the trash and then uses the data to make purchases online. Data breaches may allow people’s bank account information and PIN numbers to be released online and available to the public. More recently, devices called credit card skimmers are being used to steal the information contained in a credit or debit card’s magnetic strip.
When an individual who is in the process of being arrested or investigated by the police gives officers a false name or fraudulent identification, he or she may be committing criminal identity theft. The alleged offender may be accused of stealing another person’s ID or fabricating a fraudulent ID using his or her own picture but another person’s information. Attempting to avoid charges on your record through identity theft can result in substantial criminal consequences.
Contact an Illinois Identity Theft Defense Lawyer
It is imperative that you do not take accusations of identity theft lightly. In Illinois, identity theft is a felony punishable by years or even decades in prison, depending on the value of the assets stolen. If you or a loved one is facing identity theft charges, contact a St. Charles criminal defense attorney from the Law Office of Glenn M. Sowa, LLC right away. We have extensive experience in securing favorable outcomes for complex cases, and we will help clear your record and name to protect your future. Call our office today at 630-232-1780 to schedule a free, confidential consultation to discuss your defense options.