Identity theft: A federal and state crime in Maryland

Identity theft is a serious problem that happens when your information is stolen and used online or in person. Identity theft is often seen as an Internet crime, due to the ease of stealing credit card information and other private banking information online. If you’ve been charged with identity theft, you may be overwhelmed by the way it’s handled. It’s a federal crime along with a state crime, so the burden will be on you to prove your innocence.

Here are some statistics about identity theft in Maryland and the U.S. that may show why it’s so severely punished by the law. For instance, there are over 9 million incidents of identity theft each year. Identity theft ranges in severity, from using a credit card once, using someone’s identification to get into a club or activity or actually stealing the entire contents of a person’s bank account.

Interestingly, anyone is a potential target for identity theft, but it’s most common for victims to have their information stolen by family members or close friends. If your case is related to people you’ve never heard of, this can be a helpful data point for your defense. Additionally, for identity theft to take place on the Internet, the alleged criminal must be Internet savvy; he or she needs to understand basic levels of hacking and have access to programs that would allow information to be stolen. If you don’t have access, this is another positive point in your favor.

Identity theft is a major crime, and it can lead to punishments including prison time and fines. If you’ve been accused of it, you need to seek a proper defense immediately to help protect your rights.

Source: National Institute of Justice, “Identity Theft Research Review” Sep. 18, 2014