As a white collar crimes criminal defense attorney in Pittsburgh, I must stay abreast of all types of “up-and-coming” crimes. One crime in particular that is not necessarily new, but has been showing up with great frequency in the Pittsburgh region over the past few years, is identity theft. Identity theft in Pennsylvania is not a crime the court takes lightly and those who are indicted can face serious jail time and heavy fines. In this great age of technology, identity theft is unfortunately everywhere. Everything a person needs to know about someone else is often a few keystrokes away, sitting seemingly complacent behind an easily hacked password. It’s a tempting crime to say the least and may even seem victimless to some people. But there are victims and millions are lost and misplaced because of hackers and identity thieves. People make mistakes and Attorney Gary Gerson believes everyone should get a second chance. If you have been arrested or think that you will be arrested in the near future for identity theft, please contact Pittsburgh white collar crimes attorney Gary Gerson to talk about the details of your case. Before doing anything or incriminating yourself by speaking to police, call Mr. Gerson. Here in Pennsylvania, it is a crime to be in possession of or use a person’s identity for unlawful reasons without their consent. Most people guilty of identity theft commit the crime as a way to steal money from bank accounts, open credit cards, or make online purchases. What many of the people who commit identity theft do not understand is that each separate act of theft is considered a specific crime and carries with it its own separate penalties. This means that if you have made ten unauthorized purchases with someone else’s credit card, the court may consider you a ten-time felony committer. The penalties for identity theft in PA are as follows:
- <$2000 = 1st degree misdemeanor, max 5 five years in jail
- >$2000 = 3rd degree felony, max 7 years in jail
- 3rd and subsequent convictions = 2nd degree felony, max 10 years in jail
If the act is committed against some sixty or older, it goes from a 1st degree misdemeanor to a 3rd degree felony, a 2nd degree felony becomes a 1st degree felony, and so on and so forth Often, restitution is ordered to be paid to victims; this includes court costs and attorneys’ fees Identity theft in Pennsylvania is also covered under federal law. By way of the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act, it’s a federal offense to use or give information for someone else to use another person’s identity. If federally prosecuted, an identity thief can face up to fifteen years in jail for each crime. If you have questions about white collar crimes or think you will be arrested for identity theft, call Pittsburgh white collar crimes attorney Gary Gerson today for a free consultation at 412-219-6875 .