Common Defenses to Identity Theft

Illionois defense attorney,  Illinois criminal defense lawyerA recent story involving a U.S. astronaut has made headlines around the country. The astronaut, who spent six months onboard the International Space Station, has returned home, but the headlines may not be what she expected. Instead of being touted for her work, she is instead under scrutiny for a possible identity theft crime. While on board the ISS, she used a computer to look into her ex-wife’s bank account. She claims she was only trying to ensure there was enough money to care for their son, but she could face charges of identity theft.

The astronaut in question is likely shocked to come home to this story, as most people are when they are accused of identity theft. However, there is hope. There are many common defenses federal criminal defense attorneys use in identity theft cases, and they are found below.

Authorized Use

When a person has given another person to use their identity, the person that uses it cannot be found guilty of identity theft. This is true even if the person stole money or something of value while assuming the identity. This sounds like an unreal situation, but it is more common than one would think.

For example, a mother gives her son her bank card to go buy some groceries. While at the store, he purchases items his mom did not give permission for. While he should not have bought those items, he cannot be charged with identity theft because he was given permission to use the bank card.

Lack of a Crime

Simply stealing another person’s identity is not necessarily a crime, although in certain circumstances, such as hacking, it could constitute one. However, in many cases simply obtaining someone’s personal information is not a crime if nothing is done with that information.

For example, if a credit card is mailed to the wrong house and a person at that address opens it, they have obtained a person’s credit card information. They can only be charged with a crime, though, if they use that credit card. If they cut it up and throw it out, or even keep it but never use it, they have not committed a crime.

Lack of Intent

Like so many crimes, identity theft cases often hinge on intent. Without intent, there is no crime. For example, two sales agents share the same first and last name. An administrative error allows one agent access to the other’s business account. Without realizing it, they use the funds in the account. They cannot be charged with an identity theft crime because they did not have the intent to take money from the account that was not rightfully theirs.

Need a Good Defense? Call Our Illinois Federal Criminal Defense Attorney

Facing charges of identity theft is always shocking, even when the alleged act was not performed in space. If you have been charged with a crime, you need the help of our experienced Chicago federal criminal defense attorney. At the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel, we will work hard to prepare the defense you need and give you the best chance of a possible outcome in court. Call us today at 312-270-0999 for your free consultation to learn how we can help.

Source:

https://www.cnn.com/videos/us/2019/08/24/anne-mcclain-astronaut-nasa-orig-mg.cnn

This entry was posted in Identity Theft and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

225 WEST WASHINGTON STREET, SUITE 2200A, CHICAGO, IL 60606

PHONE: 312-270-0999

FAX: 312-924-0201