Welcome back and thanks for joining us here at The Kronzek Firm. We’ve been talking about identity theft and how it affects people here in Michigan (although the truth is it affects people all over the world). In the previous article we looked at the different ways your personal information could be accessed, and why someone would do it, and even what it could be used for. Moving on, we’re going to be walking you through the basics of what Michigan law has to say on this subject, and how the criminal charges are handled.
Is identity theft really illegal in Michigan?
In a word: yes! Absolutely. In fact, Michigan has many different laws that cover different types of identity theft-related crimes, including computer crimes, credit card crimes, and fraudulent tax and health insurance-related crimes. So as you can see, it’s a big deal. So what could get you accused of an identity theft crime here in Michigan? Any of the following:
- Possessing any personal information belonging to another person, without their permission, that you intend to use for personal gain
- Selling someone’s personally-identifying information to someone else, particularly if you know that the person buying it is going to use it to commit a crime
- Sending any emails or other communications to anyone that appear to be from a specific business when they’re not
- Using a skimming device on an ATM or gas pump to collect credit card data
- Hacking a website to gather personal information from the users of that site without their consent
What happens to you if you’re charged with identity theft crimes in Michigan?
Identity theft is a felony in Michigan, even for first-time offenders! There’s no getting around it – it’s a serious crime and the prosecutors all over Michigan, in counties like Shiawassee, Kent, Mecosta, Ingham, Livingston, and Isabella, take it very seriously! Curious about the punishments? Here’s what you need to know about what lies ahead for anyone convicted of identity theft in Michigan:
- First offense is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $25,000, or both
- Second and subsequent offenses are punishable by up to fifteen years in prison, with fines of up to $75,000, or both
How does the Kronzek Firm defend against identity theft charges?
It’s important to understand that there is no single stock answer to this question. Every case is unique and will require creativity, hard work, decades of experience and determination to build the best possible defense. However, there are certain things we look for when constructing a strong defense for a client accused of identity theft.
Perhaps the defendant thought that they did in-fact have permission to have that person’s private information. We also have experts, like data specialists and forensic accountants, to help us investigate whether or not our client was the victim of hackers? Also, we work to determine if entrapment was an issue. Was the evidence properly handled by police? Were their rights violated in any way?
Make sure your criminal defense lawyer is up to the task!
As we’ve said before, when someone you care about has been accused of identity theft, or any type of fraud for that matter, call The Kronzek Firm immediately at 866 766 5245. Do not make a statement to anyone, or agree to talk to the police, or even to a private investigator. Do not discuss the case (or ‘your side of the story’ with ANYONE!) Just call us right now, and ask for a highly skilled and experienced identity theft defense attorney. We’ve been successfully defending the people of Michigan against all kinds of criminal charges for decades. We know what we’re doing, we do it well, and we can help you by calling 866 7NoJail.