Texas Cracks Down on Identity Theft

Millions of individuals have fallen victim to identity theft over the past couple of decades, and the crime of identity theft is certainly on the rise as most information regarding an individual is now stored electronically.  Being accused of stealing someone’s identity can be just as horrific and stressful as it is to be a victim of identity theft, especially when you are completely innocent.  Regardless of guilt or innocence, being charged with identity theft in Texas can result in both the imposition of significant fines and a rather lengthy jail term.  However, it is important to remember that no two cases are alike, and one individual convicted of identity theft may receive probation, while another individual may receive a five year jail sentence.  The facts of each individual’s case are the driving force behind what the penalties will be.

Identity Theft Under Texas Law

Under Texas law, an individual may be charged with and convicted of identity theft if he or she uses another individual’s personal details, such as name, birth date, and social security number, in order to obtain goods, services or anything else of value.  There are two separate identity theft laws in Texas that apply to situations where an individual is charged with the crime of identity theft, as described below:

  • Fraudulent Use or Possession of Identifying Information – An individual who obtains another individual’s identifying information (i.e., name, birth date, and/or social security number) without consent, or who transfers or uses such information, has committed a form of identity theft.
  • Unauthorized Acquisition or Transfer of Certain Financial Information – An individual who acquires, without authorization, certain financial information on financial documents (such as photocopies of checks, credit cards, and/or bank statements), and transfer such information to a third party, has committed a form of identity theft.

Regardless of what type of identity theft is being alleged, the penalties can be quite harsh.  The unauthorized acquisition of certain financial documents is considered a Class B misdemeanor in Texas.  Transferring such information to a third party raises the crime to a Class A misdemeanor.  The fraudulent use or possession of identifying information is considered a felony in Texas.  Depending on the individual facts of the case and how serious the offense is, the felony may range from jail felony to felony in the first degree.  As such, a conviction of identity theft, especially where the crime is considered a felony, can have disastrous consequences that may leave you or a loved one in jail for a number of years.

As Texas cracks down on acts of identity theft, more people will be arrested and potentially facing charges.  Because identity theft can be a felony, you need the best criminal defense representation possible to ensure your rights and interests are being protected.

Contact Dallas Criminal Defense Attorney Jack Pettit Today

If you or a loved one has been charged with identity theft in Texas, it is imperative that you consult with a Dallas Criminal Defense Attorney as soon as possible.  Given that identity theft has dramatically increased over the years, Texas law enforcement officials have been pressing charges more frequently.  The consequences of identity theft can be just as serious as, or even more serious than, any other theft charge in Texas.  As such, the sooner you are able to speak with an attorney, the sooner you can fight the criminal charges against you.  Dallas Criminal Defense Attorney Jack Pettit is a former prosecutor with more than thirty years of experience working with the criminal justice system.  Attorney Jack Pettit has the skill and reputation you are looking for in a seasoned criminal defense attorney.  To discuss your criminal charge with Jack Pettit, contact our office today to schedule your initial consultation by calling (214) 521-4567.  Our office conveniently provides bilingual legal services in both English and Spanish, and we also accept major credit cards.

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