Need a Philadelphia identity theft lawyer? Identity theft can encompass a number of activities that defy a single definition. Prosecutors might allege that someone committed the offense as part of other federal crimes or misapply the rules regarding intent and conspiracy to leverage a spurious or overblown charge against a defendant. As a Philadelphia identity theft lawyer, I protect ordinary people from misguided or overzealous prosecution.
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State or federal prosecutors must prove the different elements of each identity theft crime that they are alleging took place. It’s not uncommon that they put forth a myriad of charges related to a single action. Fortunately for defendants, the quantity of the charges does not prove the quality of the case.
A charge of identity theft is often associated with other allegations related to:
No matter how many charges they cobble together, they still must prove the basic elements of each. And they must follow the rules of evidence that protect the constitutional rights of the accused. This Philadelphia identity theft lawyer works with a team of investigators that will ensure that any evidence presented is authentic and lawfully obtained.
With over 17 years of experience in Philadelphia, including work as an assistant district attorney and as a clerk for a United States District Court judge, he knows just how prosecutors work and exactly how to challenge their identity theft accusations.
Identity Theft Definition
In recent decades both state and federal lawmakers have enacted laws to fight identity theft. Generally, the laws prohibit any use of someone else’s personal information to commit a crime. However the definition of precisely what activities are being prohibited gives law enforcement officers and prosecutors plenty of room to charge somebody, but also a lot of difficulty proving their case.
Federal identity theft law requires proof that the accused acted “without lawful authority” (permission) and “knowingly”. It also makes it illegal to “aid or abet” another person in these activities. The law may contain provisions to allow certain inferences be made from other evidence, but this ambiguous phrasing can be vigorously challenged by an experienced criminal defense attorney.
The evidence itself in an identity theft case must be lawful, relevant and authentic.
- Where did it come from?
- Was it lawfully obtained?
- Who collected it?
- Has it been properly handled?
Digital evidence in particular can be difficult to substantiate. The origin and the chain of custody of computer files need to be proven before they can be used in court.
A Skilled Philadelphia Criminal Defense Attorney
As an experienced Philadelphia identity theft lawyer, I will fight aggressively for defendants who have been overcharged. Government lawyers have also been known to overvalue the actual damages in an identity theft case to produce a higher charge, perhaps even changing a misdemeanor to a felony. They put their own credibility with the courts in jeopardy when the evidence doesn’t support their claims.
This criminal defense attorney will fight to protect the constitutional rights of the accused. He only takes on a limited number of cases so that he and his investigative team can devote the proper time and resources to every client. Even in cases where prosecutors have solid evidence, reduced charges and alternative sentencing can be pursued.
If you've been charged with Identity Theft in Philadelphia and need a lawyer, call the Law Office of William Spade and let an experienced defense lawyer help defend your rights. Free case evaluations.