Identity theft of any kind, even simply possessing another person’s ID card, checks, or credit card, can result in state and federal prosecution and a sentence of up to 20 years in prison. If you’ve been charged with identity theft, including allegations of cyber scams or phishing, you should understand that there are many opportunities to develop a strong defense in these types of cases. However, you need an experienced Las Vegas identity theft defense lawyer to help you avoid potentially dire consequences of a conviction.
At Adras & Altig, our dedicated criminal defense attorneys have more than 30 years of combined experience handling complex fraud cases, including allegations of identity theft. We know that it is important to act quickly to rebut charges of identity theft so you can seize on every opportunity to defend yourself and tear down the prosecution’s case.
Contact our Las Vegas criminal defense law firm at the first indications of an indictment or arrest for identity theft. We understand that there are multiple sides to any story, and our attorneys approach each case with an open mind. We will move quickly to investigate and develop thoughtful and creative defense strategies, and our team will explore every avenue available to pursue the best possible outcome in your case.
Call today to set up a free legal consultation about ID theft charges, and learn how we can develop a strong, proactive legal defense for you.
Protect Your Rights in the Face of ID Theft Charges
There is typically some kind of tangible or digital evidence in hand before an identity theft indictment or arrest is made. This makes it crucial to avoid questioning by police or prosecutors without an experienced defense attorney’s advice. You could easily incriminate yourself.
You have a right to an attorney and to remain silent. Exercise your rights. Except for identifying yourself and a contact person when asked during booking, you should calmly tell police you want to cooperate but need to talk to a lawyer first.
If you are under arrest, specifically ask to be allowed to call a lawyer. Contact Adras & Altig as soon as possible. Let one of our professional identity theft lawyers speak for you.
How Our Law Firm Fights Identify Theft Charges
The consequences of a conviction for the crime of identity theft in Nevada can be life-altering. Yet, wrongful arrests and convictions can and do occur.
At Adras & Altig, we believe any charge of identity theft or any type of fraud must be fought vigorously. A conviction requires establishing guilt of all elements of the alleged crime beyond a reasonable doubt. We make sure it is never an easy task to meet this burden.
Our respected identity theft defense attorneys will thoroughly and tirelessly investigate the charges and evidence against you to be able to refute the prosecution’s case. Your defense may be based any of the following:
- False identity or mistaken
- Lack of possession or intent (For example, can the government prove digital documents were in your possession if they were found on a computer accessible by multiple people?)
- False witness testimony
- Faulty or fabricated evidence
- Police and prosecutorial misconduct
- Bias, e.g., racial, socio-economic, gender, sexual orientation, etc.
We will use our knowledge of Nevada law and the U.S. Code regarding identity theft and fraud to challenge the charges you face. At the same time, we will call upon our decades of experience to create the strongest possible defense strategy for you.
Our team will work to identify the flaws and/or contradictions in the prosecutors’ case. In addition to cross-examining prosecution witnesses, we will seek to present our own witnesses to testify in your favor.
We will also explore opportunities to have the charges against you reduced or dropped as evidence in your case is compiled. We will promptly advise you about any plea bargain offers received from the prosecution and/or discuss offers you are willing to have us make on your behalf.
In the meantime, our criminal defense attorneys will make sure you know what to expect as the legal process unfolds. We recognize the stress of facing criminal charges that could conclude in heavy fines and imprisonment. We will answer your questions and concerns promptly.
Schedule a free consultation with our law firm today to discuss your case and how we can help.
What Is Identity Theft Under Nevada Law?
Nevada law (NRS 205.463) makes it illegal to obtain personal identifying information of another person and, with intent to commit an unlawful act, use the information to:
- Obtain credit, goods, services, or other items of value
- Harm that person
- Represent or impersonate that person to obtain access to any personal identifying information
- Obtain access to private information, transactions, or other activities of the person — without his or her consent
Nevada law also takes into account computer and Internet technology, and makes it a crime to aid or abet another person in securing someone else’s personal identifying information.
“Personal identifying information” is defined as another living or deceased person’s:
- Current or former name
- Driver’s license number
- Identification card (ID) number
- Social Security number
- Checking account number
- Savings account number
- Credit card number
- Debit card number
- Financial services account number
- Date of birth
- Place of employment
- Mother’s maiden name
- Biometric data, including fingerprints, facial scan identifiers, voiceprint, retina image, iris image
- Electronic signature, unique electronic identification number, address or routing code, telecommunication identifying information or access device
- Personal identification number (PIN) or password
- Government passport number
- Alien registration number
- Employer identification number
- Taxpayer identification number
- Medicaid account number
- Food stamp account number
- Medical identification number
- Health insurance identification number
- Utility account number
- Number of any professional, occupational, recreational, or governmental license, certificate, permit, or membership
- Number, code, or other identifying information from a confidential clinical trial or study that provides the person medical treatment or prescription drugs
Identity theft is a Category B felony under Nevada law and is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine up to $100,000. However, a conviction can bring harsher penalties if the crime involved:
- An older person (age 60 or older) or a vulnerable person (with physical or mental incapacitation or limitations)
- Five or more people
- Financial loss or injury of $3,000 or more
- Avoiding or delaying prosecution for a Category A felony or Category B felony
Using someone else’s personal identifying information to avoid or delay being prosecuted for an unlawful act is a Category C felony and is punishable by 1 to 5 years in prison and/or a fine up to $10,000.
In addition, a person found guilty of ID theft would be required to pay restitution to the victim, including their attorney’s fees, any debts incurred by the defendant, and the cost of repairing the victim’s credit history or rating.
What Is Identity Theft Under Federal Law?
The Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act of 1998 (Pub. L. 105-318) defines identity theft as the knowing transfer or use, without lawful authority, of another person’s means of identification with the intent to commit or assist in any unlawful activities that violate federal law, or constitutes a state felony offense.
Federal law defines “means of identification” as any name or number that may be used, alone or in conjunction with any other information, to identify a specific individual, including many of the names and numbers, as well as biometric, electronic, and telecommunications data, cited in Nevada law (above).
A federal violation is punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment. Federal sentencing guidelines are based on the:
- Number of victims involved
- Number of identification documents involved
- Amount of harm or inconvenience caused
- Extent of loss experienced by the victims
Identity theft may be prosecuted in both federal and state courts, and along with multiple added charges, depending on the circumstances alleged by the government.
Any crime committed on federal property or that crosses state lines is likely to be tried in federal court. Identity theft via computer may be determined to cross state borders if servers in a network are outside of Nevada or the U.S., as is common.
Because identity theft may facilitate additional crimes like illegal immigration, terrorism, espionage, etc., local or state authorities may call in the FBI or other federal authorities early in an investigation.
In cases of multiple people involved in the alleged theft of identifying documents, prosecutors may seek indictment on multiple white-collar crime charges, such as conspiracy and racketeering.
If prosecutors obtain convictions on state and federal identity theft charges alone, sentences could run consecutively, meaning the defendant could face up to 40 years in prison.
Talk to Our Las Vegas Identity Theft Defense Attorneys Now
If you or a loved one has been charged with identity theft in Clark County, Nevada, do not wait to contact our seasoned Las Vegas fraud defense attorneys. Our legal team will need to start work on your defense immediately.
Our experienced law firm will fight for you and your future. Contact Adras & Altig in Las Vegas now for a free evaluation of your case and the legal options available to you.