Identity Theft | Credit Card Theft
What do prosecutors have to show in order to prove that I am guilty of this crime?
To prove that you are guilty of this crime, the prosecutor must prove that:
- You willfully obtained someone else’s personal identifying information.
- You willfully used that information for an unlawful purpose.
- You used the information without the consent of the person whose identifying information you used.
What defenses can your lawyer use to dismiss or reduce the charges against me?
Ernenwein & Mathes, LLP, will carefully scrutinize the police reports, witness statements and other discovery.
Our team will verify whether you actually obtained someone else’s identifying information. If you were entrusted with identifying information and used it in a manner to which the owner consented, you may be innocent of the crime and we can move for a dismissal of your case.
Depending on the facts and circumstances of your case, we may be able to show that you did not use someone else’s identity for an unlawful purpose. If you did not use the alleged victim’s identifying information to obtain credit, goods, services or real property, or medical information in the name of that other person, and you had the alleged victim’s permission to use the information, we may be able to convince the prosecutor that it should dismiss your case (or to convince a jury, if the matter goes to trial).
If the evidence against you is strong, we can explore sentencing alternatives that lean towards rehabilitation and education rather than jail or prison time. In many cases, we can negotiate some type of diversion with the prosecution so that you do not sustain a theft conviction. Instead, we can have you enroll and participate in an education program (e.g., impulse control) so that you earn a dismissal of the charges.
Because California Penal Code §530.5 is a “wobbler” (that is, it can be filed as a misdemeanor or a felony), if your case is filed as a felony, we can convince the prosecutor or motion the court to reduce it to a misdemeanor. If you are convicted of this crime and receive a probationary or another non-state prison sentence, we can return to court as early as 18 months later, seek to terminate probation early and have it expunged from your record.
If the victim sustained damage as a result of the identity theft, you may also be able to negotiate a civil compromise with the victim. We can contact the victim on your behalf and discuss the possibility of reaching an agreement that would result in your charges being dropped in exchange for restitution.
There is a host of issues we can evaluate based on our analysis of the police reports, witness statements and other evidence on file. Based on our findings, we may be able to successfully thwart a criminal prosecution in court or otherwise weaken the case against you.
Ernenwein & Mathes, LLP, has skilled and knowledgeable Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers with over 60 combined years of experience defending persons accused of identity theft.
Robert Ernenwein is a former Los Angeles deputy district attorney and is certified as a Criminal Law Specialist by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization. He has been selected for inclusion in California Super Lawyers for several years and has appeared as a legal analyst on multiple cable news programs, including Fox News.
The experience and capabilities that Ernenwein & Mathes, LLP, attorneys will bring to your identity theft defense are unmatched.