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We live in a digital world today and more and more people share their personal information online through social media and other similar services. According to a report by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), consumers lost a staggering $488 million to identity theft in 2018.
With a large database of people online, identity theft has become frequent and common. Identity theft occurs when someone uses the victim’s personal information and pretends to be the victim to purchase valuable goods and classified and financial information. When you need to defend yourself against an allegation of such a crime, you will need a skilled criminal defense lawyer for your case. If found guilty, the alleged imposter could face a multitude of penalties.
Paying a Hefty Fine
If found guilty in identity fraud, the court will order the convicted individual to pay a hefty fine to the victim of identity fraud. The amount of the fine depends on the severity of the offense and the damage caused to the victim. A common misdemeanor fine can be around $1,000. Felony fines would be in excess of $4,000 – $5,000. Paying the fine is one way to provide some assistance and comfort to the victim and their family.
Probation for First Time Offenders
First time offenders in identity theft will not face a harsh punishment if their crime did not cause any major damage to the actual individual. The court of law in Illinois will impose a probation sentence for fraud and identity theft. The probation period can last one year or more, depending on the conditions of the sentencing. The individuals on probation will need to comply with specific court restrictions, such as reporting to the payroll officer when required by the court, paying fines and not be a part of any criminal activity. An experienced criminal defense lawyer will try to reduce your probation period.
If an individual is convicted of identity theft, they face imminent incarceration sentencing. Generally, a misdemeanor offense can land a convict up to a year in jail. For felony charges, the incarceration sentence could be more and the individual may end up spending considerable time in jail. You will need a skilled criminal defense lawyer for your case to help fight your incarceration sentencing.
If the identity theft victim has lost a significant amount of cash or the victim has suffered substantial financial harm as a result of the identity theft, the court might order restitution. The restitution is designed to compensate the victim who has suffered heavy loss. Restitution is considered compensation for victims. The severity of the restitution varies upon the financial damage incurred by the victims of identity theft.
If you wish to know more about identity theft or any other form of fraud, contact Ettinger & Besbekos at (708) 923-0368 to schedule a free consultation or speak with an experienced criminal lawyer.