If Louisiana police suspect that you committed a criminal act, you may wonder what that will mean for you. In many cases, suspected criminal activity leads to serious charges, and as a result, you may find yourself in need of important information relating to the allegations, your defense options and the legal proceedings ahead.
If authorities charge you for identity theft, you face a serious predicament. This allegation means that law enforcement officials suspect that you used someone else's identifying information for personal gain. The charges may come as a shock to you, but that does not mean that you do not have to handle them appropriately.
What to know about identity theft
This type of fraud can involve either the use of someone else's personal or financial information. That information could include the following examples:
- Another person's name
- Another person's credit history
- Another person's personal identification number, or PIN
- Another person's Social Security number
- Another person's birthday
Any of this information could prove useful to someone attempting to open a credit card or other financial account in another person's name, which may be what authorities think you did.
Obtaining such information
You may wonder how police could think that you got ahold of such sensitive information, but these days, it is easier than you might think. For instance, mail sent to the wrong address or stolen from someone's mailbox could contain this type of information. Lost wallets or purses could also contain identifying information that another person may try to use. Even digging through someone else's trash could yield such information. Moreover, more people are putting personal information online, which may put them at greater risk of identity theft.
What you can do
Because Congress made identity theft a federal crime in 1998, you face a serious ordeal if authorities bring this charge against you. However, you do not have to panic. You have the right to defend against the allegations and work toward the best possible outcomes for your case. Though you may believe you are innocent of such accusations, simply saying so will likely not be enough. Instead, you may need to take the time to create a meaningful criminal defense, and working alongside an experienced attorney may be useful.
Understandably, you may feel overwhelmed, but remembering that you are not without hope may help you feel more at ease as your case moves forward.