One of the most common white-collar crimes in Washington State is identity theft. It should go without saying, identity theft in Washington State is considered a very serious crime; often an identity theft allegation results in criminal charges being filed in the federal (not state) court system. Identity theft can happen in many different ways, but more often than not, identity theft involves the purchase of goods and/or property by a person or entity using someone else’s identity or financial information.
Identity theft in Washington State is considered to be a crime in which a person uses someone else’s personal or financial information, such as their name, credit card number, bank account number or Social Security Number without permission or authority. Some examples of identity theft may include, but are certainly not limited to, mail fraud, opening a bank account or forging a check in another person’s name, illegally obtaining and using another’s credit card, debit card, or social security card without lawful authority and/or fraudulent wire transfers or electronic money transfers.
Identity theft is a felony in Washington State. A felony conviction in Washington State will cause a person to lose certain civil rights and may prevent him from future employment opportunities. In addition to the criminal penalties and restitution a person faces when convicted for identity theft, the convicted person will also face a civil fine of up to $1000 for each individual count of identity theft alleged.
Because of the very serious consequences associated with identity theft, it is imperative that a person charged with identify theft retain a qualified Seattle criminal defense lawyer. A qualified Seattle criminal defense attorney can assess what the best strategy is to defend against the allegations. There are many defenses that can be used to fight against identity theft charges. For example, the evidence in identity theft cases is often obtained through a search of a person’s home or car; if that search was illegal or unconstitutional, the evidence may be suppressed, or otherwise not used by the prosecuting authority.
At SQ Attorneys we have overcome seemingly insurmountable odds through continuous, intensive and sustained plea bargaining efforts; we create success by applying the factual circumstances of our cases to the applicable law, and presenting mitigating factors throughout the entire negotiating process. These efforts have routinely resulted in reduced charges, reduced sentences and even dismissals. SQ Attorneys creatively works with prosecutors, courts and local agencies to keep our client’s criminal records clean; especially in first time offender situations and those situations where the individual does not have a long criminal history.