15110 North Dallas Pkwy #400
Dallas, TX 75248
Identity Theft / Fraud
It is illegal to use any other individual’s personal information without his or her consent to obtain credit, money, goods, services, or any other thing of value. Pretending to be another person in financial transactions or certain other dealings is a criminal offense that is punishable by incarceration and fines.
Victims of alleged identity thieves seek compensation for their losses and want alleged offenders held accountable. State and local agencies in Texas will aggressively pursue harsh penalties against any person who is accused of this crime.
Dallas Identity Theft Lawyer
Are you currently under investigation for or have you been charged with stealing another person’s identity in Texas? You will want to make sure that you have skilled legal representation as soon as possible for the best chance at obtaining a favorable outcome to your case.
The Allen identity fraud attorneys at The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy fight for clients in such areas as Mesquite, Denton, Grand Prairie, Mansfield, Frisco, North Richland Hills, Irving, University Park, Southlake, and many more communities in North Texas. Our firm thoroughly investigate these cases, and we can review your particular case as soon as you call (972) 233-5700 to set up a free consultation.
Texas Identity Fraud Information Center
- What kinds of actions constitute this criminal offense?
- How might an alleged offender be punished if he or she is convicted?
- Are there any certain ways that a person facing these charges can defend him or herself?
This criminal charge is referred to in Texas Penal Code § 32.51 as fraudulent use or possession of identifying information. This statute states that a person can be charged with this crime if he or she, with the intent to harm or defraud another, obtains, possesses, transfers, or uses any of the following items:
- Identifying information of another person without his or her consent
- Unauthorized or illegally obtained, possessed, transferred information concerning a deceased natural person, including a stillborn infant or fetus, that would be identifying information of that person were he or she alive
- Identifying information of a child younger than 18 years of age
An alleged offender is presumed to have the intent to harm or defraud another party if he or she possesses any of the above types of identifying information of three or more other persons or deceased persons. For the purposes of this statute, identifying information my mean any of the following types of information that identifies a person, including his or her:
- Name and date of birth
- Unique biometric data, including the person's fingerprint, voice print, or retina or iris image
- Unique electronic identification number, address, routing code, or financial institution account number
- Telecommunication identifying information or access device
- Social security number or other government-issued identification number
The criminal classification of this defense is determined by the number of items that were allegedly obtained, possessed, transferred, or used with the identifying information of another party or parties:
- State Jail Felony — Less than five
- Third-Degree Felony — Five or more but less than 10
- Second-Degree Felony — 10 or more but less than 50
- First-Degree Felony — 50 or more
It is important to understand that a criminal charge may be increased to the next highest category of offense if the alleged crime was committed against an elderly individual or the alleged offender fraudulently used identifying information with the intent to not comply with required registry as a sex offender.
Texas Penal Code § 32.51(d) states that an alleged offender who is convicted of this crime may be ordered to make restitution to the victim and ordered to reimburse the victim for lost income or other expenses he or she incurred as a result of the offense, except for attorney's fees. Additionally, an alleged offender could also be fined up to $10,000 and/or possibly receive one the following incarceration sentences if convicted, depending on the classification of the offense and whether there were any aggravating factors:
- State Jail Felony — Up to two years in jail
- Third-Degree Felony — Up to five years in prison
- Second-Degree Felony — Up to 20 years in prison
- First-Degree Felony — Up to 99 years or life in prison
While it can be extremely stressful and frightening to be accused of this crime, an alleged offender may still be able to prove his or her innocence in certain cases through defenses that may include, but are not limited to:
- Alleged offender had no unlawful or fraudulent intent to use identifying information
- Alleged offender was not the individual who obtained, possessed, transferred, or used the identifying information
- Alleged victim granted alleged offender permission to use identifying information
- Lack of evidence against alleged offender
- The identifying information in question belonged to the alleged offender
Find an Identity Fraud Lawyer in Allen TX
If you are being investigated for or have been charged with illegally obtaining, possessing, transferring, or using the identifying information of another individual, you will want to have legal counsel who will fight to get the charges you face dramatically reduced or completely dismissed. The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy provides this sort of aggressive legal defense for clients in Denton County, Collin County, Tarrant County, Dallas County, and surrounding areas of North Texas.
Our firm serves Arlington, Richardson, Highland Park, Hurst-Euless-Bedford, Plano, McKinney, Allen, Lewisville, Carrollton, Flower Mound, and several nearby communities. You can have our Dallas identity theft attorneys provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free legal consultation by calling (972) 233-5700 today.