Identity Theft

Identity Theft

In California, identity theft consists of the unauthorized use of another’s social security number, name, birth date, driver’s license number, passwords, account numbers and other personal data without the authority to do so. In essence, the offender is falsely posing as someone else to commit fraud or is attempting to distribute the victim’s personal data for monetary gain.

In order to obtain a conviction under Penal Code 530.5, the prosecution must prove that:

  • the defendant willfully attained another person’s personal identification
  • the defendant use of the victim’s information was unauthorized
  • the information was used for illegal purposes including gaining goods, credit services, medical records, etc.


Penalties for Identity Theft

If convicted of identity theft as a misdemeanor under Penal Code 530.5, an individual will be subject to probation and up to one year in county jail. Depending on the degree to which the victim was harmed, the sophistication of the defendant’s actions and his or her criminal record, can lead to identity theft being charged as a felony, in which case a conviction can result in as much as 16 months, two years or even three years in state prison or may result in probation, court fines and restitution of up to $10,000 and potential immigration problems for non-citizens.


Potential Defenses to an Identity Theft Charge

Any person who has been accused or arrested for identity theft crime needs to get in touch with an attorney who has experience with these types of cases who can devise a successful defense strategy and may even be able to have the charges dismissed or have them reduced before trial. An experienced attorney will be able to review the evidence and prepare a defense, including mistaken identity and/or false allegations, which will give you the best chance to beat the charges or negotiate a fair plea before trial.

If you have been charged with violating Penal Code 530.5 and need an experienced criminal lawyer, contact our office today for a free consultation.

Our Results Speak for Themselves

Client charged with possession for sales and gang enhancement. Client faced 16 years in prison with the gang and prior strike allegation. Client turned down 8 year pretrial offer with prior attorney before going to trial. Not guilty on all charges at trial. (People v. Antwan B.)

Client charged with attempt murder, accessory after the fact and gang enhancement after shots fired at a dwelling. Client turned down 15 year pretrial offer. During trial, plea deal reached for probation with time served. (People v. Rudy B.)

Client charged with resisting arrest, obstruction of justice when cops performed a probation sweep at her residence.  Client found not guilty on all counts at jury trial. (People v. Felicia M.)

Client charged with corporal injury to girlfriend after argument allegedly escalated. Client had significant exposure of 21 years because of prior strike, probation violation and GBI allegation. At trial, jury refused to convict client, returning hung verdict. (People v. Christopher P.)

Client charged with possession of methamphetamine for sale after traffic stop. Client claimed prejudice by prosecution’s delay in bringing the case to court. Motion filed on behalf of client asking the Court to dismiss the case as violative of client’s speedy trial rights. Motion granted and case dismissed. (People v. Shannon J.)