In defending allegations of identity theft or forgery, a Atlanta Defense Lawyer should investigate the arrest and any police investigations that were conducted for possible defenses. This includes determining whether any searches or seizures made by police were legal. If the police violated a person’s rights, a judge may be forced to suppress any evidence that was discovered from the search.
A good Atlanta criminal defense attorney will also try to determine if the client’s alleged actions fall under an exception. Georgia law carves out several exceptions to identity theft laws. For instance, a person generally cannot be charged if he or she lawfully obtained credit information in the course of a bona fide consumer or commercial transaction. A person also cannot be convicted for the good-faith use of identifying information with the permission of the affected individual.
Numerous other defenses are available to someone accused of identity theft or forgery. In many cases, a skilled attorney will be able to negotiate a reduced charge or have a charge dismissed entirely. If you have been charged with one of these offenses, you need an experienced attorney who will defend your legal rights.
The information provided above is a very general summary of Atlanta identity theft and forgery laws at the time this text was prepared. Because this analysis is subject to change depending upon recent cases and legal developments, you should not rely on this summary as legal advice. As with any important legal question, you should always consult a lawyer licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.
Georgia law also makes it a crime to use a scanning device to access, read, or store information contained on the magnetic strip of any card used to make payments. This includes transferring the information on one magnetic strip to a different card with the intent of defrauding the original user or business. This offense carries with it a 1- to 3-year prison sentence and a fine up to $10,000. A second offense can put an offender in prison for 3 to 10 years with a fine of $50,000. A trial court may require the offender to make restitution to his or her victims.
The related crime of forgery also carries harsh penalties under Georgia law. Forgery is divided into two categories: first and second degree. First-degree forgery involves creating, changing, or having a writing which is in a false name. This crime also requires that the writing be delivered in some capacity. Finally, the defendant must have had intended to commit fraud. A conviction of this crime will result in a 1- to 10-year sentence.
Second-degree forgery occurs when all the elements above have been met, except for the delivery of the writing. A conviction for second-degree forgery will result in a sentence of 1 to 5 years.
If you or someone you know has been arrested for Identity Theft in Atlanta, you are going to need a Atlanta Criminal Defense Lawyer ASAP. Contact the Howard Law Group ASAP so we can start on your case.