What can I expect with an Identity Theft charge? 34 Answers as of July 12, 2013

So I decided I wanted to use my father’s credit card and charge a few things online with it. Upon finding the credit card balance was ridiculous and looking at the credit card statement he confronted me and made me return everything that was mailed in, back to the companies. One company refused to accept the returns and pressed charges. The amount spent was about $1100 altogether. I've had a rough home situation and of course I realize what I did can have some serious repercussions. What can I expect to happen from this point on?

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Deal & Hooks, LLC
Deal & Hooks, LLC | Shawn P. Hooks
It honestly depends on what court you are in. In Ohio Identity Theft resulting in the loss of property of more than $500 but less than $5000 is a fourth degree felony. This carries with it the possibility of a prison sentence of anywhere from 6 months to 18 months and a fine, as well as restitution. Most courts would consider community control (probation) as an option if you do not have a significant criminal history and the victim (your father) is supporting that. You may have defenses available that could either reduce the charge or get the State to dismiss it as well.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 6/8/2011
Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
It depends on the exact charges that are filed. You should hire an attorney to either negotiate a favorable plea bargain or go to trial.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 6/8/2011
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
If you are a minor the purchase contracts are void. If you are over 19, you need counsel to address your potential defenses. Stay well.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 6/8/2011
Nelson & Lawless
Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
When charged with a felony, you potentially face one or more years in prison if convicted.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/7/2011
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
This could be a federal charge of identity theft. If so it is serious. Get an attorney.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    Your charges on your father's card could result in forgery, unlawful use of a credit card among others, depending upon the specific evidence.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre | Jonathan T. Sarre
    If you've never been in trouble before and charged in Oregon, where I practice, you are looking at probation if convicted of the crime of ID Theft. If you've been convicted of a certain number of fraud or theft-type convictions in the past, you might be looking at a prison sentence, but if you're record is clean up to now, then probation and maybe some community service.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    These are felony charges. You need to retain counsel ASAP.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/12/2013
    Law Office of Andrew Subin
    Law Office of Andrew Subin | Andrew Subin
    I need some more information. Have you been contact by the police?
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/12/2013
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    Whether or not criminal charges will be brought is solely within the discretion of the prosecuting attorney. Until charges are brought and it is know what has been charged, it is impossible to predict the consequences.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Impossible to tell what would necessarily happen. What could is another matter. You used a telephone. Could be a federal case. Amount is over $950. probably a felony. could go to prison. Company does not "press charges". It may file a complaint. Up to DA to file charges.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    First thing your Dad can do is authorize the sale and both of you can walk away from it and you can repay the money to him over time. However, once a prosecution has been started by the prosecutor, it cannot usually be simply stopped by authorizing the sale by your Dad. It would be best to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer to represent you if charges are brought against you since they could be felonies and that would not be a good thing at all. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
    In Missouri, because the amount is more than $500, you will likely be charged with a felony. However, the range of possible outcomes is huge: everything from getting the case thrown out on a technicality up to several years in prison. This will depend on the specific facts (and more importantly, the specific evidence against you), and on your criminal history. You will want an attorney to help you with this. This is not the type of crime that can later be expunged from your record. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact my office.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Office of Michael Moody
    Law Office of Michael Moody | Michael Moody
    Anyone convicted of a crime involving dishonesty like theft of any kind can kiss their chances of ever obtaining meaningful employment goodbye. Please hire an attorney. Your future depends upon it.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    You will be faced with Felony charges, possible prison time or probation with restitution to the company. I do not know how much evidence they have against you, but I would retain counsel once the charges are made. Do not talk to police or any law enforcement about the matter, use your constitutional right to remain silent, and if you cannot afford counsel, ask for the appointment of the public defender.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    You are probably young and may be able to get Youthful Offender Treatment if you are under 19. Otherwise you will be able to plead to a misdemeanor and receive probation. What you did was foolish, immature, and you were bound to get caught. You will be walking around with the same brain that made this decision for the next few years so it's important to learn from this mistake. You stole from the man who brought you into this world, raised you, supported you, and is your own flesh and blood. You did it out of desperation and because it was available and easy to do, but you did not consider the consequences. Your father should have paid the bill since it would have avoided the arrest. You should retain a criminal attorney and try to avoid a criminal record that will hurt your chances of ever getting a good job or career. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    The charges that you will most likely be facing are fradulent use of a credit card and/or theft of property second degree. Both of these charges are felony charges and carry a penalty of not less than one year and a day up to ten (10) years in a state prison.The disposition of these charges are dependent on your age, your prior record, and the seriousness of the offense. There is nothing your father can do to help you as it is out of his hands.I suggest that you secure employment and save as much money as you can save between now and the time that these charges are before the Court. You need a good attorney and you should have enough money to pay restitution and court cost at a trial or preliminary hearing and hope that the prosecutor will allow these charges to be minimized.It would also help you to see if you can mend the problem that you have with your father or your family as you are almost sure to need them in the near future.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    You can be charged with Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card which is a felony. Depending on your age and your previous record, you may be eligible for a diversion program which could keep the charge off your record. More than likely you are probably looking at a form of probation, but you could possibly do some jail or prison time. You need to consult with an experienced criminal attorney regarding your case for a proper evaluation.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    Under Minnesota law, depending on the number of victims and the amount of loss, identity theft offense may range from a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $1000 fine to a felony, punishable by as much as 20 years in prision or to payment of a fine of not more than $100,000, or both. You would be wise to hire experienced legal counsel immediately. Your future is at stake.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    As in any criminal case, you will be arraigned on the charges. If any of the charges are felonies, then you have the right to a Preliminary Examination. If you are convicted by plea or after a trial, your sentence will include payment of any restitution. You should consult an attorney to represent you in this case. Only after reviewing the facts, your record, and understanding your Court can more detailed advice be given. I hope that this was helpful.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Office of Craig E. Gibbs
    Law Office of Craig E. Gibbs | Craig Gibbs
    If you pay them back you may be able to get out of the charge with the help of an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 7/12/2013
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    What the company does is the least of your worries. The most negative thing that could happen is your dad reports this to the police, who then writes a report and submits it to the DA. The best you can do is to remain silent from this point forward and talk to no one about this other than a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law | Jules Fiani
    You need to hire a lawyer and the lawyer can answer these questions for you. Not hiring a lawyer is one of the biggest mistakes by people in your situation. I have specialized in this area of the law for over 30 years in your area and have seen how people regret the fact that they did not hire a successful attorney to help them in their time of need. One who represents themself has a fool for a client. Feel free to call me to answer any additional questions.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    You did not indicate whether or not you had any prior criminal record. I would recommend you hire a criminal attorney to represent you as soon as possible and to advise you as to all your rights and options. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    You could be charged with felony. You would get at least probation from the charge and possibly jail or prison. A good attorney might be able to get the charges reduced and possibly removed from your record but that depends on many factors. Is this your first criminal offense? What will your Dad want? Have you made restitution? you need an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Frances R. Johnson
    Frances R. Johnson | Frances R. Johnson
    I'm sorry but I cannot answer this without knowing what state this charge arose in, what court the charges are filed in (federal, state), priors, etc. The potential outcome simply can widely vary. Consulting an attorney who can ask you all of the important questions will give you the best indication of what you can expect.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    The Law Offices of Greg Gray
    The Law Offices of Greg Gray | Greg Gray
    Depending on the jurisdiction you live in, this appears to be a credit card abuse case rather than Identity Theft. In Texas that is a State Jail Felony. A State Jail Felony has a range of punishment of 180 days to 2 years and an optional fine not to exceed $10,000.00. If you do not have prior convictions, you may be able to get deferred adjudication which is probation without a felony conviction.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Eric M. Mark, Attorney at Law
    Eric M. Mark, Attorney at Law | Eric Mark
    The company cannot press charges against you if you had your father's permission to use the card and subsequently decided to return merchandise. You do not say if there are any criminal complaints or if you just owe your father some money. The answer also depends on how the statute in your state reads. If there are charges against you, consult with a criminal defense attorney.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Law Offices of Hugh Anthony Levine
    Law Offices of Hugh Anthony Levine | Hugh Anthony Levine
    It sounds like you haven't been charged with identity theft or anything else at this time, and you may not be in view of the family relationship and the relatively low amount of the credit card usage. It will depend a lot on what jurisdiction this occurred in, and other factors that aren't contained in your inquiry. Feel free to contact me through my website.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    Get a lawyer, speak to no one else and plan a strategy.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Rothstein Law PLLC
    Rothstein Law PLLC | Eric Rothstein
    Were you arrested? You face possible felony charges. Is your Dad cooperating with the store? Make no statements if questioned or arrested.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/6/2011
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