Yes, if you have been charged with identity theft, you should instruct a defence lawyer to represent you. Being found guilty of identity theft can have serious consequences for the rest of your life. It is therefore vital to get the best legal representation available.
Identity theft penalties
If you are found guilty of identity theft, you face up to five years in prison. The court can also order you to pay restitution to your victims. Depending on the circumstances, you may have to repay thousands of dollars, in addition to serving a jail sentence.
Along with these court-ordered penalties, you will almost certainly suffer other difficulties as a result of an identity theft conviction. For example, it may affect your ability to get a job, rent a property or further your education.
Sadly, criminal records can impact your life long after you have completed the sentence. If you are charged with an indictable offence, you must wait 10 years before requesting a record suspension. This means an entire decade of being scrutinised for your past actions.
Getting a lawyer for identity theft
Because a conviction for identity theft can have such a negative effect on your future, it is extremely important to hire a defence lawyer. A lawyer can achieve a more positive outcome on your behalf, such as a reduced sentence or even an acquittal.
A defence lawyer can also help you get bail. Often, this is difficult where identity theft charges are concerned, as the police typically seek to deny bail. However, an experienced defence lawyer understands how to secure your release – even if there is a presumption against bail.
It is hard to achieve these kinds of results on your own. Identity theft is a specialist subset of the law; an in-depth knowledge of the rules and regulations is required to succeed in these cases. Strong advocacy skills are also required in court.
Get expert legal advice
If you have been accused of identity theft, we strongly recommend instructing a defence lawyer, rather than trying to represent yourself.
At Mickelson & Whysall, we specialise in theft and fraud offences, including identity theft, identity fraud and credit card fraud. We know how to manage these cases, and have a team of experts we can draw upon if needed. This includes experts such as forensic accountants.
To talk to a defence lawyer about a charge of identity theft, contact us now for a consultation.