Identity theft is a crime that has been receiving a good deal of attention of late, from legislators and law enforcement alike. Illegal under state and federal law, it involves the stealing of another's identifying information in order to commit fraud or other crimes. This information may include one's Social Security number, bank account information, driver's license number, credit card number or other sensitive information that can be used to assume another's identity. Most identity theft investigations and charges involve the theft of another's identity for personal financial gain. Less commonly, these cases involve identity theft allegedly perpetrated to avoid detection and arrest by law enforcement.
When charged as a federal crime, identity theft may be punishable by up to 15 years or more in federal prison, as it is often charged along with other crimes, such as mail fraud, wire fraud or hacking. Aggravated identity theft is a more serious version of this crime. A conviction may result in an additional two to five years in prison.
Established well over 20 years ago, Weintraub & Alper Legal. represents arrestees, suspects and defendants in the face of aggravated identity theft investigations and charges. Federal criminal defense is a key focus of our firm, and as a former federal prosecutor, Atlanta Criminal Attorney Howard Weintraub is uniquely qualified to lead our firm in defending clients who are facing these serious charges. We serve clients throughout the Atlanta, Georgia and have done so since 1985.
Aggravated Identity Theft Charges & Penalties
18 USC § 1028A (2012) defines aggravated identity theft and outlines the penalties that a defendant may face if convicted; aggravated identity theft is described as identity theft perpetrated in relation to a felony offense involving:
- False citizenship;
- The avoidance of U.S. deportation/removal proceedings;
- Immigration law violations;
- Mail, bank and wire fraud;
- The acquisition of a firearm;
- The theft of public money, property or rewards;
- Theft or embezzlement by a bank officer/employee;
- Theft from an employee benefit plan; or
- Social Security benefits.
A person convicted of this form of aggravated identity theft may face an additional two-year sentence added on to the sentence for the felony offense. If identity theft is committed in relation to a terrorist act, a defendant may face an additional five-year sentence added on to the sentence for the felony terrorism offense.
Defense for Aggravated Identity Theft in Atlanta, Georgia
Challenging aggravated identity theft charges can be a complex and challenging task. Particularly because many of these investigations and charges involve evidence found on computers or through the internet, they are technical in nature. If you are under investigation for this federal offense or have already been formally charged, you need to act immediately to involve a criminal defense lawyer who can protect your constitutional rights to the fullest extent while building a strong case on your behalf that challenges physical evidence and witness testimony the government may bring against you.
Our Atlanta criminal defense firm has the resources and know-how to effectively investigate federal identity theft charges. In addition to relying on our own legal knowledge and experience, we work with skilled investigators and computer forensic specialists who can help us determine how to create a winning strategy.
To discuss your case, your rights and your options with a professional who will put your needs first, contact a criminal lawyer at our offices today. We look forward to hearing from you.
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