The period of time following an arrest can be both confusing and distressing. Defendants are usually worried about a number of things, including how a conviction could impact their futures and whether fighting the charges are even worth it. To answer these questions, a defendant must first understand the formal charge. Here is some information that may be helpful to those facing identity theft charges.
According to California state law, a defendant charged with identity theft is accused of purposely taking another individual’s personally identifying information for unlawful purposes, and then using that information without consent. Most people already know that names, Social Security numbers and taxpayer identification numbers are personally identifying information. However, so are addresses, phone numbers and other information.
An unlawful purpose may apply to a number of different situations. This includes using another person’s name and information for things like applying for credit, making purchases or even accessing medical information. These are just a few examples, as using another person’s information for most things constitutes an unlawful purpose.
Just because a defendant used another person’s information does not mean that he or she committed identity theft. According to California law, if the owner of that personally identifying information consented to its use, then identity theft did not occur. It is also not identity theft if information was not used for unlawful purposes. Clearly demonstrating either of these points or other relevant defenses is essential for securing the most favorable outcome possible, so a defendant may want to consider how speaking with an attorney could help his or her situation.