In today’s day and age, we all have numerous usernames and passwords to sign into a wide variety of online bank accounts, store accounts, subscription services and more. Our identities and financial information, though kept in supposedly cyber-secure sites, are accessible and vulnerable to hackers skilled enough to penetrate the security.
But it’s not only hackers who may use your personal information to their own advantage. Identity thieves come in all shapes and sizes. It could be a neighbor stealing your bank account information from your mail. Or, it could be a relative who opens a credit card in your name.
As you probably know, identity theft happens when somebody uses another person’s personal details, like their name, Social Security number, driver’s license or other identifying information to pose as that person and commit crimes, such as fraud. Our state of Georgia doesn’t take the white-collar crime of identity theft lightly, prosecuting it as a felony.
What you may not yet know is the specific penalties that perpetrators can receive if convicted:
- One to 10 years in prison, depending on the severity of the damage caused
- A fine of up to $100,000, plus the prison time
The victim of the identity theft may also pursue a case in civil court against the perpetrator and seek compensation for the financial damages.
If you are facing charges of suspected identity theft, it can threaten your identity too, whether or not you have committed the crime. Being arrested can hurt your reputation and potentially your job. Then, if you’re sentenced, the conviction can have long-lasting negative impacts, with many prospective employers being hesitant to let you near their financial data.
Seeking legal help
Don’t let charges like this ruin your life and future. Talk to an experienced Georgia defense attorney who can help protect your rights and see that you get the fairest treatment under the law.