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3 common defenses for identity theft charges

On Behalf of | Aug 19, 2022 | criminal defense |

Identity theft involves the possession and use of another person’s information in the commission of a crime. Some common examples include making unauthorized credit card purchases, applying for a loan under someone else’s name, or using another person’s information to get prescription medication.

Those facing identity theft charges might wonder about their legal options. When building a case, there are three common defenses that an attorney might use.

Insufficient evidence

Since identity theft is a criminal offense, the burden of proof is higher than in a civil case. There must be enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person charged is guilty of the crime. If there is not enough evidence, the judge could dismiss the case.

Witness credibility

Witnesses can make or break a case since they might have valuable information about people or events related to the crime. When a witness contradicts themselves, confuses details, or gives a false statement, an attorney can argue that their testimony is unreliable. A witness who lacks credibility could introduce doubt about other facts in the case.

Valuation of goods

In Pennsylvania, identity theft involving less than $2000 is a misdemeanor, while the law classifies an offense involving over $2000 as a felony. Identity theft charges can carry different penalties depending on the value of the goods or services relevant to the crime. One goal of a defense attorney might be to get charges reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor.

When a person faces identity theft charges, there might be concern about potential legal action, but an experienced professional can help build a strong defense.