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Identity Theft

Identity Theft Defense Attorneys in Dallas

In today’s digital age, identity theft has become a rapidly growing concern. This offense, involving the deliberate use of another individual’s identifying information without consent, can lead to severe penalties under both state and federal laws.

If you face charges, our attorneys can provide legal guidance and aggressive representation throughout your case. We are prepared to fight for you, working to protect your rights and acting as your advocates through this challenging time. 

Patrick J. McLain, founder of the Law Office of Patrick J. McLain, PLLC, has over three decades of experience in the legal field, offering a wealth of knowledge to each client he represents. He has served as both a federal prosecutor and a defense attorney for state and federal crimes, which has helped him develop a valuable, comprehensive, and critical perspective of the legal system.

To schedule a case consultation, call our Dallas identity theft defense attorneys at (214) 238-9392 today.

What Is Identity Theft?

Identity theft is a type of fraud that involves the unauthorized use of another person’s personal identifying information, typically with the intent to commit financial fraud. This could involve stealing items of personal identifying information, such as someone’s social security number, bank account details, or credit card numbers, and using them to commit unlawful acts. 

Unfortunately, the prevalence of digital transactions and online communications has made the crime of identity theft increasingly common, rendering it a serious concern across the nation. 

Identity Theft Under Texas Law

Governed by Texas Penal Code, Title 7, Chapter 32, identity theft falls under the umbrella of fraud crimes. According to Section 32.51, an individual commits identity theft when they intentionally or knowingly obtain, possess, transfer, or use another person’s identifying information without that individual’s consent to cause harm or defraud. This crime is generally charged as a felony in Texas, with penalties varying based on the number of identifying items obtained, possessed, transferred, or used. 

The Law Office of Patrick J. McLain, PLLC understands these laws, their interpretations, and their implications in court. If you have questions about any identity theft charges that you face, don’t hesitate to contact us to schedule a consultation. 

Penalties for Identity Theft in TX

The penalties for an identity theft conviction vary depending on the specific details of the crime, including the number and type of identifying information misused.

On a broad level, these penalties can range from a state jail felony (imprisonment for up to 2 years and potential fines of up to $10,000) to a first-degree felony (imprisonment for up to 99 years and fines of up to $10,000) for the most severe cases. Texas law also allows for enhanced penalties if identity theft was committed against an elderly individual or if the perpetrator has prior convictions. 

Identity Theft Under Federal Law

Federal law recognizes identity theft as the knowing transfer, possession, or use without lawful authority of a means of identification of another with the intent to commit any unlawful activity that constitutes a violation of federal law or a felony under any applicable state or local law. 

Penalties for Federal Identity Theft Convictions

Convictions of identity theft at the federal level can result in up to 15 years imprisonment, fines, and the criminal forfeiture of any personal property used or intended to be used to commit the offense. These penalties can be enhanced based on the specific details of your case.

Under the Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act, if identity theft is used to commit felony crimes, an additional two consecutive years can be added to the offender’s sentence. If identity theft is linked to an act of domestic terrorism, a further five consecutive years can be added to a sentence.

Defenses for Identity Theft Charges in Texas

One common defense strategy involves challenging the allegations against you based on a lack of intent to harm or defraud. Texas law stipulates that an individual must knowingly and intentionally use another person’s identifying information with malicious or unlawful intent for the act to constitute identity theft. Thus, proving that there was no intent to cause harm or defraud can form the foundation of a potential defense.

Another line of defense could be disputing the alleged unauthorized use of the identifying information. The belief that consent was granted could provide grounds for a defense if your claim can be substantiated.

Identity theft charges often rely on digital evidence, such as computer records or electronic transaction logs. Given the technical complexities and potential for error in digital forensics, challenging the reliability, accuracy, or integrity of this digital evidence can be another vital element of a defense strategy. 

If there were any procedural violations during the investigation, such as unlawful search and seizure, we could also challenge the legitimacy of the charges against you. To succeed with this strategy, we would need to prove that procedure was either not followed or deliberately disregarded, which is difficult but possible in the cases to which this defense applies.

Our team at the Law Office of Patrick J. McLain, PLLC has successfully deployed these defense strategies and others and can help you build a case against the charges against you. Remember, each case is unique, and the most effective defense strategy will depend on the circumstances surrounding the charges.

Call the Law Office of Patrick J. McLain, PLLC Today

Our Dallas identity theft defense attorneys understand the impact a conviction like this can have on your life. Though facing charges of identity theft can upend your life, we want to remind you that you do not have to go through the legal process alone. At the Law Office of Patrick J. McLain, PLLC, our attorneys stand ready to fight for justice on your behalf. 

To schedule a case consultation, call (214) 238-9392 or contact us online.

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  • Former Federal Prosecutor & Military Judge
    Attorney Patrick J. McLain's years of experience across the aisle provide him with a unique perspective.
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