If you’ve been arrested for identity theft in Murrieta, California, you need to understand the seriousness of the offense and the potential consequences of a conviction. Penal Code 530.5 is the California law that defines identity theft, and it carries harsh penalties. At the Law Office of Nic Cocis, we understand the implications of a conviction and are here to help you fight the charges.
Identity theft is defined in section 530.5 of the California Penal Code as “wrongfully obtaining and using another person’s personal identifying information for any unlawful purpose, including to obtain credit, goods, services, or medical information in the other person’s name.” This means that a person can be charged with identity theft if they use someone else’s name, social security number, credit card information, or other identifying information to commit fraud, to purchase goods or services, to obtain a loan or credit in the other person’s name, or commit other criminal acts. It can be done online, through the mail, or in person.
Under Penal Code 530.5, identity theft is a “wobbler” offense, meaning it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the severity of the crime and the number of victims involved. If convicted of a misdemeanor, you could face up to one year in county jail and a fine of up to $1,000. If convicted of a felony, you could face up to three or more years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Additionally, those convicted of identity theft in California may also face heavy fines, restitution payments, and probation or parole.
At the Law Office of Nic Cocis, we understand that identity theft charges can be intimidating, and we are here to help. We will work hard to protect your rights and fight for the best possible outcome in your case. We will investigate the facts of your case and work to have the charges reduced or dismissed. We will also work to have the penalties minimized if a conviction is unavoidable.
If you’ve been arrested for identity theft in Murrieta, Temecula, Menifee, Lake Elsinore, Wildomar, Winchester or Hemet, don’t hesitate to contact the Law Office of Nic Cocis. We understand the serious nature of the offense and are here to help you fight the charges. Contact us today for a free consultation.