Identity theft in today’s world involves more than using stolen credit cards. If you are accused of stealing another person’s identity, do not wait to contact a Chattanooga identity theft lawyer. Whether you have been charged with a state or federal crime, you need a competent defense attorney who understands Tennessee’s identity theft laws, and will do everything possible to prove your innocence.
Like many crimes, the consequences of identity theft crime can be severe. Seizure of property, fines, probation, and imprisonment are among the most common penalties. An experienced legal professional provides dedicated counsel and representation that hopefully avoids such consequences.
According to Title 39, Chapter 14, Section 150 of the Tennessee Code, identity theft concerns buying false information, selling others’ personal information, or using an individual’s information to purchase goods and services. Selling personal information to others knowing they will use it for unlawful purposes is called identity theft trafficking. Among the most common personal information stolen in identity crimes includes, but is not limited to:
For an identity theft charge to have merit, the state must show that the information in question was used illegally, such as to rent a hotel on a tropical island or purchase thousands in electronic equipment. Defense attorneys note it is not enough to show that the information was used for unlawful purposes, as the accused’s mental state must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. The state subsequently has to show that the defendant knew they possessed someone else’s personal information and intended to use it for unlawful activities.
To prove identity theft, the state must show the defendant purposefully provided another person with a third party’s personal information knowing the receiver intended to use it illegally. Proving intent can be challenging; however, a jury can infer a defendant’s intentions if the individual possesses the personal information of five or more people.
Legal professionals often defend clients charged with personal information theft on Tennessee Financial Records Privacy Act or Fair Credit Reporting Act grounds. If obtaining such information was allowed by either of these acts, the defendant did not unlawfully use or transfer it. Attorneys also defend their clients on consent grounds. The defendant can claim the accuser gave consent to use or transfer their personal information, or that they had the legal authority to obtain, buy, use, or possess said information. In terms of consent, “explicit” consent is not necessary.
If the defendant is found guilty, they can pay up to three times the requested damages among other penalties, making it important to have quality representation.
Rely on an experienced Chattanooga identity theft lawyer to provide the counsel and defense services necessary following a charge. Our firm’s attorneys provide uncompromising representation to show that you did not intentionally purchase, use, or sell another person’s information, or were otherwise within your legal rights. Take the first step in defending yourself against an outlandish accusation. Call our firm today.