Identity theft is the use of another individual's personal information for an unlawful purpose like getting credit, goods or services etc. without the consent of that person. Even giving someone else's name when arrested can be identity theft. Often this charge is also filed on credit card and check fraud cases where someone is using a stolen credit card or attempting to cash a stolen check.
The code section commonly charged in Vista Courts and all of California is California penal code 530.5 et seq. This is a felony punishable by up to 3 years prison and $ 10,000 fine. It may also be reduced to a misdemeanor. Probation is possible, but may include county jail custody up to a year. This type of offense is often treated more harshly because it usually involves some sophitication, may be hard to catch and can have devastating effects on the victims. Anyone who has been a victim of this crime knows the problems it can cause with credit reports, employment background checks and how time consuming it may be to clear up. Restitution is always an important factor in resolving these cases in addition to mitigating factors unique to each case and individual
In addition to looking for possible defenses, there are things that can be done to mitigate the seriousness and try to get lesser charges or penalties. Nicholas and William Christoph of Christoph Law Offices have handled hundreds of theft and identity theft cases over 30+ years across from the Vista Courthouse. For a free consultation, call 760-659-2149