As the crime of identity fraud increases, many people are beginning to understand the importance of protecting themselves, especially in the digital space. National Computer Security Day on November 30th is fast becoming the date people are using to remind themselves of the need to review their digital privacy and security.
Part 1 of this 2-part blog series explains what identity fraud is in detail, citing the Texas legal code. Identity fraud in Texas occurs when someone acquires the personally identifying information of another person without consent and uses that information to obtain goods or services or to gain access to other private information of value. This serious crime can result in serious legal consequences for the perpetrator.
Penalties for Identity Fraud
Individuals charged with and convicted of identity fraud in Texas will be subject to serious criminal penalties. While the specific punishment is different in each case, some of the possible penalties include incarceration, probation, fines, and restitution. If you have been charged with identity theft in Texas, it is crucial that you seek out legal assistance from a reputable criminal defense attorney to help you fight them.
Defenses Against Identity Fraud Charges
Depending on the circumstances of your identity fraud case, a number of defense strategies may help to legally clear your name. In some cases, a lack of intent to harm or defraud another individual will exonerate you. Of course, there is also the possibility that a mistake was made–a mistake of fact defense is used to show that there was no offense committed by the accused party. Whichever defense is most appropriate in your case, your lawyer will prove your innocence, or argue for a lesser punishment if you are found guilty.
SECURE YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION
It is important to keep your personal information safe and secure, especially digitized and online data, from your email account to your social media accounts. Personal information includes everything from your social security number, driver’s license number, and financial account number to your date and place of birth, home address, and account passwords. Review the privacy and security settings for each account frequently, and make changes as required. Doing so will help protect you from identity thieves. This year on National Computer Security Day, remember to give your computers and digital devices a security check-up to help protect against identity fraud.
To learn more about what you should do if you are a victim of this crime on the rise in Texas, check out the Identity Theft Information Guide from the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Do you or a loved one need legal counsel regarding identity fraud? If so, you should secure the services of a knowledgeable and practiced criminal defense attorney like Brian Erskine of Erskine Law, a board-certified criminal defense attorney. Mr. Erskine has over a decade of experience handling a wide variety of cases in the Austin, Texas area. Erskine Law is a respected law firm; counsel is committed to helping clients navigate the complex legal system to reach a positive outcome in their cases. Contact Erskine Law at any time to ask questions and discuss how Brian Erskine will fight with you during your legal battle.