The emergence of white collar crime decades ago led to increased criminal convictions for behavior that previously was not considered a criminal offense. Identity theft was a crime which picked up immediately following the repeal of prohibition, when underage individuals attempted to use fake IDs to purchase alcohol. This spiraled into identity theft for purposes of illegal immigration during the 1960s. Fast forward a few decades, and the crime of ID theft is common not only for underage drinking and immigration purposes, but also for credit purposes. If you have been arrested for ID theft, it is important to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Identity Theft Crime
Identity theft has become so commonplace that the Federal Trade Commission estimates that 5 percent of all people in the United States over the age of 16 were victims of identity theft in the two period between 2006 and 2008. While identity theft has been around since the 1930s, the sophisticated methods with which to steal someone’s identity have changed the crime entirely, and the crime is therefore now treated harsher than it was just a few decades ago.
Common identity theft crimes are committed in an effort to obtain someone else’s credit, records, goods, or other benefits in the name of another person. While these crimes do not seem on par with violent crimes such as homicide, kidnapping, and rape, they come with equally lengthy sentences and the potential for a felony conviction. It is therefore important to treat an arrest for ID theft with the importance it requires. A felony conviction will stay on your record for the rest of your life and can impact your ability to hold a job, raise a family, and even vote in federal elections.
Identity theft can involve a large number of personal identification documents and numbers, including:
- A person’s name
- Driver’s license or driver’s license number
- Passport or passport number
- Social Security Number
- Bank account numbers or routing numbers
- Debit or credit card numbers
- Electronic signature
- Tax identification number
Identity Theft Penalties in Las Vegas, NV
Due to the regularity with which people become the victims of identity theft, states and the federal government have increased penalties and fines relating to identity theft in an effort to curb the number of instances. While some states lump identity theft in with a range of other similar white collar offenses, Nevada separates identity theft into its own statute. In Nevada, it is a crime to use another person’s identity with the intent to fraudulently obtain credit, property, or services. It is also illegal to help someone else steal another’s identity. These crimes are a felony offense in Nevada and are punishable by up to twenty years in prison and a potential $100,000 fine.
Identity theft can further be prosecuted in federal court under the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act of 1998. Under federal law, sentences can range up to 25 years.
The consequences of identity fraud depend heavily on the details of the alleged crime and the person’s intentions and a Las Vegas false identification lawyer has a very clear understanding of the different circumstances. For example, using a fake ID to buy alcohol is not as serious an offense as stealing Social Security numbers online in order to steal money.
Generally, you may face felony charges if you steal personal identification information to with the intention of committing credit card fraud, online fraud, or forgery. These charges could result in up to $10,000 in fines and up to ten years in prison.
You may also face felony charges if you are in possession of a fake ID in order to use someone else’s identity (whether living, dead, or fictional). This charge may result in up to four years in prison.
You may face misdemeanor charges if you are in possession of a fake ID in order to gamble, purchase alcohol, or purchase cigarettes. This misdemeanor can result in up to $1,000 in fines and six months in prison.
Reasons for Identification-Related Criminal Offenses in Las Vegas
Although identity theft and false ID possession are somewhat common crimes across the country, a Las Vegas identity theft attorney knows these charges are more prevalent in Nevada and Las Vegas, where some sell, create, or possess false IDs in order to gamble in casinos, drink or purchase alcohol, or access credit. Specifically, a person may be charged with an identification-related criminal offense in Nevada because they attempted:
- To gamble at a casino under a false name.
- To accumulate debt without using their real identity.
- To commit credit card fraud.
- To purchase alcohol or engage in underage drinking.
- To gain access to a nightclub or casino with age limits.
- To engage in underage gambling in Las Vegas.
- To make money by selling fake IDs to others.
- To access the personal information of someone else.
- To harm the victim of the identify fraud.
- To avoid persecution for a criminal act.
Whatever the reason for the ID-related criminal offense you have been charged with, a Las Vegas identity theft attorney are here to help you understand the law, your rights, and the best course of action.
Talk to a Skilled Las Vegas Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
If you have been arrested on suspicion of identity theft, do not hesitate to contact the Las Vegas defense attorneys of the De Castroverde Law Group. Our attorneys have years of experience in handling criminal cases concerned with identity theft. It is important to keep in mind that an arrest is not yet a conviction, and you still have a chance to make an ongoing defense to the court. Contact our Las Vegas office today for your initial free consultation.