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Identity theft is the fastest-growing crime in the United States. According to the California Office of Privacy Protection, there are more than 11 million victims of identity theft in the U.S. each year, more than one million of which come from California.

According to California Penal Code section 530.5, it is considered a felony to use personal identifying information, such as a Social Security number, without permission for an unlawful purpose, such as cash, goods or services, or to obtain information like medical records.

It goes without saying that the punishment for these crimes is severe. If you find yourself facing a California identity theft investigation, you need to take it seriously. Contact a Torrance criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options.

With the popularity of the internet, the types of identity theft are growing exponentially. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Online identity theft
  • Computer identity theft
  • Credit identity theft
  • Bank identity theft
  • Social Security identity theft

Proving identity theft can be difficult, and, depending on your intentions and the breadth of the crime, the punishments may vary. By fighting the charges in court, you may be able to earn an acquittal or reduction of charges.

However, it is crucial that you act immediately. By waiting even until official charges are levied, you may already be behind the prosecution. If you are a person of interest in a California identity theft investigation, now is the time to contact a lawyer.

Contact Ernenwein & Mathes, LLP, Los Angeles and Orange County criminal defense lawyers today at 424-552-3901 for a free case review.