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Criminal defense attorney

Torrance Identity Theft Lawyer 

Serving South Bay and Los Angeles County

When You Have Been Accused, You Better Understand Penal Code 530.5

There is little question that identity theft is a growing crime in the United States. As more people have access to the internet, personal information is easier to come by. That is also why lawmakers and prosecutors have started to home in on identify theft, also referred to as identity fraud. They want to make examples of people they believe to be guilty of using someone else’s identity in an unlawful or fraudulent manner. The state of California is no different. California Penal Code 530.5 addresses this issue.

If you have been accused of identity theft in California or know someone who has, you need to familiarize yourself with Penal Code 530.5 PC.

Under California law, identity theft is categorized into four areas, including:

  1. Using another person’s identifying information, without his or her consent, for unlawful purposes. For example, using someone’s identity to obtain credit could be considered identity theft.
  2. Keeping another person’s identifying information with the purpose of committing fraud. This means the information is kept without that person’s consent.
  3. Selling or providing a person’s identifying information without his or her consent and with the intent to engage in fraud.
  4. Similar to the above, selling or providing personal information without someone’s consent, but with the knowledge that it will be used to commit fraud.

When you are accused of identity theft, you need to be aware of the possible consequences. 

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Get Help With Your Identity Theft Case

If you have been accused of identity theft in Torrance or the surrounding area, you need a legal professional to help you. Don’t rely on someone with little to no experience in identity theft law; rely on Ernenwein & Mathes, LLP. We are experienced and aggressive Torrance criminal defense lawyers with over 60 combined years of experience defending people 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 Super Lawyers for several years and has appeared as a legal analyst on multiple cable news programs, including Fox News.

Facing Identity Theft Charges in Torrance, California?

Nearly 20 years ago, identity theft mainly involved stolen credit card cards. Today, with technology advancements and just about every household on the internet, identity theft has exploded. As more and more people have fallen prey to identity thieves, prosecutors have started to crack down on these criminal offenses. Identity theft is one of the fastest-growing crimes, and prosecutors are doing what they can to keep up.

If you have been accused of identity theft, watch out. The days, weeks, months and possibly years ahead could be difficult for you.

Understanding Identity Theft Charges

Identity theft can be defined simply as stealing someone’s personal information with the intent to commit fraud or another crime. Identity theft could involve any of the following:

  • Credit cards
  • Social Security numbers
  • Bank accounts

Identity theft can result when someone is able to obtain another person’s account username or steal a credit card. For identity theft charges to stick, the prosecution must show that the alleged criminal willfully obtained another individual’s personal information without authorization, and it was used for an illegal purpose.

Even though identity theft falls under the classification of a white collar crime, don’t let that mislead you. Identity theft is a serious offense and could lead to jail time, fines and more.

Contact A Torrance Identity Theft Lawyer For Help

One of the worst things you can do when you are accused of identity theft in Torrance, CA is to work with an inexperienced lawyer. You have a lot riding on the outcome of your case and shouldn’t leave your fate to an attorney who lacks the knowledge and resources to help you fight your charges.

Contact Ernenwein & Mathes, LLP, Torrance, Los Angeles and Orange County criminal defense lawyers today at (310) 361-3068 for a free case review.

  • I cannot thank Robert enough for his efforts, knowledge, and execution in my case. He gave me a second chance.
    - Kevin Q.
  • Michelle has had a profound impact on my life. She not only has a firm grasp of legal matters, but also of human emotions. This dynamic duo worked all hours of the day and night on my case. They exerted effort way beyond the amount that I had paid them.
    - Khadijeh K.
  • If you are in need of a great attorney with an abundance of experience as well as a very professional office staff who constantly will keep you updated, call Ernenwein & Mathes!
    - Jake L.
  • They are the gold standard for defense attorneys. A+
    - Former Client

    California Identity Theft Law: Penalties and Defenses Available

    Identity theft became a big buzzword years ago, as technology opened up more doors to crime. The government stepped in and created new laws, but at the same time consumers became concerned over their security and privacy. Fast-forward to today, and identity theft is one of the crimes that is severely punished in California.

    If you have been accused of this crime, there is a lot you need to know, including the California identity theft law, penalties and possible defenses.

    California Identity Theft Law

    In our state, identity theft crime falls under Penal Code Section 528-539, also referred to as the California Identity Theft Statute. Plainly stated, in California, it is against the law to use someone else’s identifying information for unlawful purposes. For example, it is illegal to open a credit account in another person’s name without his or her consent. If you are found guilty of such a crime, you could be facing significant consequences.

    Punishment For Identity Theft

    The penalties for a California identity theft conviction may include a fine, imprisonment and more. The severity of the punishment depends on whether the offense is classified as a misdemeanor or a felony.

    There is another consequence that can be just as damaging — a criminal record. An identity theft charge on your criminal record could negatively impact your future, making it difficult to obtain employment and occupational licenses. Plus, there tends to be a stigma associated with this crime.

    When You Didn’t Do It

    Despite what the prosecution will want the jury to believe, you are not automatically guilty. The prosecutor will need to prove that you had an unlawful purpose for having someone’s personal identifying information.

    While many forms of identity theft seem straightforward, some people are falsely accused of this crime. You may have had consent to use the information or not had an unlawful purpose in mind. In fact, the entire allegation against you may be unwarranted. That is where a Torrance criminal lawyer can step in and help you.

    An experienced attorney will be able to review the evidence against you and the details of your situation to build a strong defense on your behalf. To learn more, contact Ernenwein & Mathes, LLP, today at (310) 361-3068. We can be reached 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

    Identity Theft and Credit Card Theft Defense Attorney in Torrance, CA

    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.
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