There is a category of crime that is typically known, in legal terms, as white collar crime. Generally, these crimes are financial in nature and do not involve any type of violent behavior. Two of the most common types of white collar crime are forgery and identity theft. In many cases, those who are facing identity theft charges will also be facing charges of forgery. Because of the nature of these crimes, those who could be facing these charges are often investigated extensively, prior to being charged. If you are facing charges of forgery or identity theft, you need to seek immediate assistance from a criminal defense attorney.
State Charges vs. Federal Charges
Identity theft involves using someone else’s personally identifying information, such as their name, social security number, credit card or PIN number, to defraud them financially. In the event any of these transactions involved a signature, the person would also be facing charges of forgery.
Should the theft involve mailing a document with a forged signature across state lines via the United States Postal Service, the charge may be increased to a federal charge. Additionally, if someone has used someone else’s identity to defraud the government, such as applying for federal benefits, obtaining a federal loan or filing an income tax return, these would also result in federal charges.
Forgery charges can also be lodged on a state level against someone who has signed a check payable to another person, materially altering a document signed by another person, or falsifying your own academic transcripts. All of these crimes are investigated thoroughly, and punished to the fullest extent of the law.
Why You Need an Attorney Immediately
Immediately upon learning you are being investigated for identity theft or forgery, it is extremely important to begin working with an attorney. Because prosecutors are held to the highest standard of proof in these cases, they will generally want to review your finances, look into your work history and talk to your employer, family, and friends. However, just because you are under suspicion does not mean you do not have certain rights afforded to you. Only by working with an experienced attorney can you ensure your rights are not being violated. Keep in mind, these types of crimes have the potential to be enhanced with additional charges but fortunately, the burden of proof is very steep.
White collar crimes are very serious and in many cases, working with an attorney as soon as you find out you are being investigated can help prevent the prosecutor from moving forward to an indictment. Contact the Hampton Law Firm now to schedule a free consultation. We will work to ensure your legal rights are being protected, and make sure you understand your legal options. These charges are not to be taken lightly, and the sooner we get involved, the more likely we are to be able to help reach a satisfactory resolution.