Were you recently charged with identity theft in Louisville, KY? It’s important to take immediate action to defend your rights. A Louisville identity theft lawyer at Suhre & Associates, LLC can put an aggressive defense strategy into motion to minimize the consequences of these serious criminal charges.
We’ve been successfully defending clients across Louisville, Kentucky, for more than 15 years. Our team is ready to use our winning track record to make a difference in your case.
How Can Suhre & Associates, LLC Help if You Were Arrested for Identity Theft in Louisville?
Identity theft is a hot-button issue today. Given the increased publicity, prosecutors nationwide are aggressively pursuing convictions. That doesn’t mean you’re automatically guilty if accused. However, it does mean you’re going to need an experienced and aggressive Louisville criminal defense lawyer on your side.
When you hire Suhre & Associates, LLC, rest assured that your attorney will:
- Locate all exculpatory evidence that could be used to prove your innocence
- Analyze your case with a fine-tooth comb to identify any violations of your constitutional rights
- Move to have illegally obtained evidence excluded
- Work with experts to identify weakness in the prosecutor’s case
- Negotiate with the prosecuting attorney
Prosecutors want to convict. So, they might offer a plea bargain soon after you’re charged. You should never accept a plea without consulting a lawyer. Our Louisville criminal defense attorneys will evaluate every aspect of your case–and we’ll fight to get the best deal possible.
You deserve an attorney who will stop at nothing to protect your rights. If you’ve been charged with identity theft, call our Louisville law firm today so that we can get started.
Overview of Kentucky Identity Theft Laws
Generally speaking, identity theft occurs when someone steals another person’s identifying information to fraudulently obtain goods or services.
Defendants are often charged with identity theft for:
- Stealing someone else’s credit card information
- Stealing personal financial information
- Using someone else’s Social Security number or personal information
- Stealing someone else’s bank account or debit card information
All identity theft crimes in the state of Kentucky law are felonies.
Theft of Identity
Prosecutors can convict a defendant on identity theft charges under Ky. Rev. Stat. §514.160. To do this, they must prove the defendant knowingly possessed or used another person’s current or former identifying information.
Personal identifying information includes someone else’s:
- Telephone number
- E-mail address
- Social Security number
- Driver’s license number
- Birth date
- Personal identification number, or
- Any other information that could be used to identify the person
The prosecution must also prove that the defendant used or possessed the information with the intent of representing that they were the other person for the purposes of:
- Depriving the other person of property
- Obtaining benefits or property to which the defendant would otherwise not be entitled
- Making financial or credit transactions using the other person’s identity
- Avoiding detection
- Obtaining a commercial or political benefit
Identity theft in Kentucky is a Class D felony. If the defendant is a business, Kentucky Consumer Fraud Act charges might also apply.
There are a few specific things the prosecution must prove to convict on identity theft charges in Kentucky.
They’ll have to prove:
- The defendant possessed or used another person’s identifying information
- The defendant knew that he or she was committing the acts
- The defendant intended to use the information for one of the enumerated reasons
Possession, knowledge, and intent are critical in identity theft cases. A skilled Louisville identity theft attorney at Suhre & Associates, LLC can attack the prosecution’s evidence and challenge their ability to prove these key facts beyond a reasonable doubt.
Trafficking in Stolen Identities
Under Ky. Rev. Stat. §514.170, trafficking in stolen identities is a Class C felony.
Kentucky prosecutors can convict for trafficking in stolen identities if they prove the defendant:
- Manufactures, sells, transfers, or purchases the personal identity of another person; or
- Possesses with the intent to manufacture, sell, transfer, or purchase the personal identity of another person
The prosecution must also prove that the defendant’s purpose was to:
- Deprive the other person of property
- Obtain benefits or property to which the defendant would otherwise not be entitled
- Make financial or credit transactions using the other person’s identity
- Avoid detection
- Obtain a commercial or political benefit
Possessing five or more separate personal identities can be used as conclusive evidence that those identities were possessed for trafficking.
Federal Identity Theft Laws
Identity theft is also a federal crime. If you’re charged with a federal crime, your case will be heard in a federal district court. It’s critical to have a lawyer by your side who understands both the state and federal rules that will apply in your case.
Federal identity theft laws are found in 18 U.S.C. 1028. Federal law lists several basic offenses that can be used to support identity theft charges.
Federal prosecutors can convict a defendant on identity theft charges for:
- Illegally producing an identification document or a false identification document
- Transferring an identification document or a false identification document knowing that the document was stolen or produced illegally
- Possessing five or more stolen identification documents or false identification documents with intent to use them illegally
- Possessing five or more stolen identification documents or false identification documents with intent to transfer unlawfully
- Possessing a stolen identification document or a false identification document with the intent to use the document to defraud the United States
- Producing, transferring, or possessing a document-making implement that the defendant intends to use to produce a false identification document
- Attempts to commit any of these offenses
If convicted of engaging in an identity theft scheme, you could also be prosecuted under federal statutes that criminalize mail fraud, computer fraud, bank fraud, or financial institution fraud.
What are the Penalties for Identity Theft in Louisville, Kentucky?
If you’re charged with a federal crime, you could face up to 30 years in federal prison, financial penalties, and asset forfeiture.
If convicted of identity theft under Kentucky state law, you’ll likely be sentenced to time in state prison.
Under Kentucky sentencing guidelines, you could be sentenced to jail for:
- Between five and ten years if convicted of a Class C felony
- Between one and five years if convicted of a Class D felony
Judges also have the authority to impose a fine of between $1,000 and $10,000.
In addition, Kentucky law requires that perpetrators pay restitution to their victims. That means you’ll be required to repay the identity theft victim what they’ve lost.
Restitution might include a number of things, such as:
- Costs required to correct the victim’s credit history
- Attorneys’ fees and costs related to settling a debt
- Lost wages
If convicted, you could also be required to reimburse financial institutions and banks that suffered direct financial losses because of the identity theft.
Kentucky identity theft laws contain specific asset forfeiture provisions. In other words, if convicted, you’ll be required to forfeit any profits or assets you obtained through the identity theft scheme.
Our attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC have experience handling identity theft cases. Our first step will be to challenge the prosecution’s evidence to have the charges against you downgraded or dismissed if possible.
What Defenses Can Be Raised if I’m Accused of Identity Theft?
Law enforcement authorities take identity theft extremely seriously. Financial institutions, corporations, and the federal government have poured billions of dollars into preventing identity theft–and still, thousands of people fall victim every year.
If you’re accused of identity theft, expect the prosecution to fight hard to convict.
At Suhre & Associates, LLC, our attorneys are here to make that as difficult as possible. We’ll identify every defense that might work in your case.
Some of the most common defenses to an identity theft charge include:
- False allegations
- The other person gave you consent to use their personal identifying information
- Lack of intent to commit a prohibited act (no unlawful purpose)
- No fraudulent intent
- The prosecution obtained evidence through an illegal search and seizure
- Mistaken identity
The prosecution must prove every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. You shouldn’t put your future in the hands of an inexperienced criminal defense lawyer–and you should never try to fight the charges on your own.
Our lawyers at Suhre & Associates, LLC are standing by to put more than 100 years of combined legal experience to work for you. Call today To discuss your legal options with our attorneys.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Louisville Identity Theft Lawyer
Being charged with a crime can be overwhelming. The most important thing you can do is take action. A skilled Louisville identity theft lawyer at Suhre & Associates, LLC can launch an aggressive defense to protect your rights.
If you’re under investigation or have been charged, call our law offices immediately to schedule a free consultation.