Identity theft is a crime that can result in serious consequences for people of all ages. It involves the use of personal information to apply for credit and steal money. Identity theft can cause damage to one’s credit and make it difficult to apply for loans.

Many of those accused of identity theft may not seek legal help because they feel it is a lost cause. However, a criminal defense lawyer skilled in identity theft knows how to help so you can reduce your penalties.

What the Law Says

RCW 9.35.020 defines identity theft as obtaining or using the identification or financial information of any other person, living or dead, to obtain money, goods or services. There are many types of identity theft, including child ID theft, senior ID theft, tax ID theft, medical theft and social theft. They all involve using someone else’s identification and information to obtain benefits.

When the amount of the money, goods or services obtained is under $1,500, then the crime is a Class C felony. If the value exceeds $1,500, then it is a Class B felony.

A Class C felony is punishable by five years in prison and $10,000 in fines. A Class B felony can result in double that amount of punishment, with 10 years in prison and $20,000 in fines.

How a Lawyer Can Help

A lawyer will examine all aspects of the case, from the arrest to the evidence. Even if you are facing serious charges, there are always ways to improve your case’s outcome. An aggressive lawyer will find ways to reduce your penalties and have your case dropped altogether.

Depending on the severity of the crime, it is possible that you will have to pay fines or serve some jail sentence. Still, a lawyer can help you avoid enhanced penalties. Your lawyer will help build a strong case and even go to trial if necessary.

Contact a Washington Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you are charged with identity theft, you need a solid defense to avoid severe penalties. Contact the Washington criminal defense attorneys at The Nahajski Firm to learn more about defense strategies. We have nearly 40 years combined legal experience in representing clients in Seattle, Puget Sound, and surrounding areas. Find out more about how we can defend you. Call us at (206) 621-0500 or contact us online to request a free consultation today.