Fraud And Identity Theft Charges
March 29, 2022
Most identity theft charges are handled on the state level. However, depending on the nature of the crime, it may be a federal offense. With that in mind, Missouri legislatures and law enforcement agencies take fraud and identity theft charges seriously.
Individuals convicted for identify theft may face jail time, fines, restitution payments, probation, and more. If you’ve been accused of identity theft fraud, it’s recommended that you consult a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Contact Kirsch & Kirsch today for a free case evaluation with an identity theft lawyer in Jefferson City, MO. Continue reading to learn more about fraud and identity theft laws in Missouri.
Fraud and Identify Theft Laws in Missouri
In Missouri, identity theft is a crime of fraud. According to MO. Rev. Stat § 570.223, an individual is guilty of identity theft if they knowingly deceive or defraud someone (or attempts to) with the intent to deceive or defraud:
- Transfers, or
One or more means of identification (i.e., passport, license, ID card, etc.) that is not lawfully theirs. The offense of identity theft can be a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances of the case.
If you’ve been charged with identity theft, you should speak with an attorney as soon as you can. A criminal defense lawyer gives defendants the best opportunity to reduce or dismiss charges in many cases.
What is The Sentence For Identity Theft And Fraud?
In Missouri, individuals convicted for the offense of identity theft can face different levels of charges depending on the amount of money defrauded or attempted.
Generally, identify theft is a class B misdemeanor if it results in the theft or appropriation of money, services, credit, goods, or other property. However, charges can increase in severity for the following reasons:
- Class A misdemeanor – Less than $750 value
- Class D felony – More than $750 but less than $25,000
- Class C felony – More than $25,000 but less than $75,000
- Class B felony – More than $75,000 value
If convicted, defendants face up to 1 – 10 years (or more) in jail/prison, depending on the type of charges. Generally, misdemeanor identity theft charges incur less harsh penalties than felony identity theft offenses.
Those convicted for identity theft in Missouri may have to make restitution payments to the victim. Further, the victim can take civil action against the defendant. If you’re facing ID theft charges in Jefferson City, contact an ID theft attorney in Jefferson City today.
Defenses Against Identify Theft Charges
Since the consequences of ID theft charges are so severe, it’s essential to work with an attorney familiar with the best identity theft defenses for your situation. Generally, a few of the most common defenses to identity theft charges in Missouri include but are not limited to:
- False Accusation: Sometimes, ID theft allegations are not rooted in truth. In that case, a criminal defense attorney for identity theft charges can help investigate the matter and clear your name.
- Consent: Suppose someone permitted you to use their ID. In that case, your attorney may be able to mount a solid defense on your behalf. However, it’s important to note that using someone’s ID (even with permission) to commit an unlawful act is still a crime.
- Lack of Fraudulent Intent: A key component of ID theft charges is intent. If you did not intend to deceive or defraud another person, then it can be difficult (if not impossible) for the prosecution to build a strong case against you.
- No Intent to Steal: In addition to proving an intent to defraud, the prosecution must also prove that you intended to steal someone’s ID to commit an illegal act. If they can’t furnish proof that shows intent to steal someone’s identity, then they don’t have much of a case to stand on.
No identity theft lawyer in Missouri can guarantee the outcome of your case. However, working with a skilled ID theft lawyer can drastically improve your chances of reduced or dismissed charges.
Contact An ID Theft Attorney Today
You don’t have to face identity theft charges alone. Our attorneys understand that false allegations and mistakes are no reason for a person to lose their freedom. Our ID theft lawyers are here to rigorously investigate your case and mount a solid defense on your behalf.
Contact Kirsch & Kirsch today to speak with one of the best attorneys for identity theft charges in Jefferson City, MO.