Identity theft is a crime that involves stealing another person’s identity without their permission. Information that is often stolen includes name, social security number, credit or debit card information. Victims of these offenses often desire restitution, and prosecutors will seek severe penalties including incarceration and substantial fines.
A conviction for identity theft can result in significant consequences. If you find yourself being prosecuted for an identity theft crime, contact one of our white-collar crime attorneys today. Our attorneys will create a strong defense strategy to fight identity theft allegations.
Brownsville Identity Theft Attorney in Texas
If you have been charged with identity theft, it’s important you hire a white-collar crime attorney in Texas to represent you. An identity theft conviction can result in severe punishments including hefty fines, jail, prison time, and/or a criminal record.
The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. focuses on helping those dealing with identity theft allegations in Brownsville, Texas and throughout Cameron County, Hidalgo County, and Willacy County. Call 956-504-2211 to schedule a free and confidential consultation and to discuss the details of your case.
- Identity Theft in Brownsville, Texas
- What are the Penalties for Identity Theft in Texas?
- New Account Fraud Under Texas Law
- Additional Resources
Under Texas Penal Code Chapter 32, identity theft is a serious financial offense. The Texas Attorney General’s office describes identity theft as using or selling an individual’s personal identifying information without their consent. The term ”identifying information” is defined as information that alone or in conjunction with other information identifies a person.
Listed below are some examples of identifying information according to Texas law.
- Name and date of birth;
- Unique biometric data, including the person’s fingerprint, voice print, or retina or iris image;
- Unique electronic identification number, address, routing code, or financial institution account number;
- Telecommunication identifying information or access device; and
- Social security number
Identity theft is also committed when a person uses another person’s information to apply for credit or open a new bank account. If you have questions concerning identity theft, The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. can answer them.
An individual’s penalty for identity theft allegation will depend on the amount of identifying information found in their possession. According to the Texas Penal Code, you could face the following charges if you are found guilty of identity theft.
- First-degree felony if you obtained, possessed, used, or transferred 50 or more pieces of identifying information. A first-degree felony is punishable by five to 99 years in prison or up to life in prison and/or a fine up to $10,000.
- Second-degree felony if you obtained, possessed, used, or transferred more than 10 but less than 50 pieces of identifying information. A second-degree felony can result in a 2 to 20 year prison sentence and/or a fine up to $10,000.
- Third-degree felony if you obtained, possessed, used, or transferred more than five but less than 10 pieces of identifying information. A third-degree felony can result in a prison sentence from two to ten years and/or fines not exceeding $10,000.
- State jail felony if you obtained, possessed, used, or transferred less than five pieces of identifying information. A state ail felony can lead to 180 days to two years in Texas jail and/or a fine not more than $10,000.
New account fraud involves opening a new account with someone else’s personal information to purchase goods or services. The offense is located under section 32.2 of the Texas Penal Code but does not have a specific statute. New account fraud includes making false or misleading statements to obtain property or credit such as a loan. Here are several offenses that fall under new account fraud:
- Utilizing a credit or debit card that is not yours
- Utilizing a fictitious card
- Receiving any benefit that you know has been obtained by violation of this law
- Stealing a credit or debit card with the intention of using it, selling it or transferring it to someone other than the cardholder
- Buying a credit or debit card from someone the defendant knows is not the issuer of the card
- Selling a credit or debit card
- Inducing the cardholder to use his/her card to obtain property for the defendant’s benefit when the cardholder is financially unable to pay for it
Texas Attorney General — Texas Attorney General lists Ken Paxton as the 51st Attorney General of Texas and he is Texas’ chief legal officer. Visit the website to learn how to protect yourself from becoming a victim of identity. You can also find more about his divisions for liberty and justice such as child support, consumer protection, crime victims, and open government.
Identity Theft Information Guide l Texas Department of Public Safety — The Texas Department of Public Safety provides an identity theft guide that lists what to do if you have become a victim of identity theft. Steps include notifying the police or sheriff’s office, contacting a driver’s license office, and notifying your bank. Visit the website to learn more.
The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. | Cameron County Identity Theft Attorney
If you have been charged with an identity theft, it is in your best interest to seek an experienced attorney such as The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. . When it comes to cases of identity theft, prosecutors may charge the accused with multiple counts of a crime. This includes offenses related to identity theft such as credit card fraud, mail fraud, and insurance fraud.
Please call 956-504-2211 if you desire to work with a white-collar crime attorney. You’ll be able to schedule your first consultation free of charge. The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. defends clients facing identity theft charges in Brownsville, Texas.