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I’ve been accused of identity theft. What should I do?

| Mar 6, 2016 | Firm News, White Collar Crimes |

When the phrase white-collar crime is thrown around, many people immediately tune out, believing that, because they do not work a white-collar job, they will never need to worry about white-collar crime. The truth is that white-collar crime is not only reserved for white-collar employees. Any kind of fraud, which any person could find himself or herself accused of, is considered a white-collar crime.

Identity theft is a type of white-collar crime that has become significantly more widespread and notorious in the last few years, with people all across the country finding that their driver’s license numbers or social security numbers have been stolenn in order for the thief to collect benefits or withdraw money from their accounts. Because a person’s financial, professional and even personal life could be ruined by identity theft, it is treated with significant consequences under the law.

In Louisiana, the financial damages suffered by the victim will often determine the penalties for the person convicted of the crime. For instance, a loss of between $300 and $500 could lead to three years of imprisonment or a $3,000 fine. A loss of $1,000 or more could result in 10 years of imprisonment or as much as $10,000 in fines, or even both. Repeat convictions can increase the penalties as well.

As you can see, being convicted of identity theft in Louisiana can significantly impact your life, and depending on the amount of damages the victim is reporting, it could change your life completely. That is why you should seek legal assistance and counseling as soon as you learn you are a suspect; not when you are accused or arrested. This means that if police wish to question you about an identity theft, it may be in your best interests to remain silent and contact an attorney immediately.

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