Most people, at some point in time, find themselves in financial trouble. In times when it seems like you will never get out of that hole, financial necessity and desperation sometimes cause good people to make hasty, impulsive and often bad decisions. But then you get caught. When you add to your financial stress the stress of being arrested and charged with a crime – maybe even a felony, it’s no surprise that you’re dealing with a difficult set of circumstances.
We won’t be able to help you with getting your finances back on track, but we can help take the load of worry and panic of criminal charges off your shoulders. At The Criminal Defense Team, our team of attorneys is prepared to defend your rights and secure a favorable outcome for you in your identity theft or check deception case. Let us look into your case, investigate, and test the State’s evidence against you. If that evidence seems overwhelming, let us help you manage the risks, consequences and penalties of that case. Are you falsely accused? Allow us to prepare your case for trial.
Call The Criminal Defense Team today to schedule a free case evaluation. All information will be kept confidential in order to protect your rights. If you’re ready to take the first step towards managing your identity theft or check deception case, call (317) 687-8326 today.
Why You Need a Lawyer
Convictions for these type of property crimes often come with unforeseen consequences (huge restitution bills; inability to get meaningful work with a felony property crime conviction; etc.). Let the Board Certified* attorneys with The Criminal Defense Team advise you and help you manage these risks as well. We know these cases; we have tried these cases to juries. Let us help you with your situation.
It can be difficult to manage a case like this on your own. Whether you’re working to defend yourself against a wrongful charge or mitigate the consequences of a conviction, building your own case can be an arduous process. At The Criminal Defense Team, our attorneys have been defending clients in financial crimes cases since our foundation in 2007. Even if it means working out a plea bargain for you, we have years of successful experience in reaching favorable outcomes for our clients. We’re committed to approaching each client with hard work and compassion while we provide them with Board Certified* expertise.
Why Choose The Criminal Defense Team?
When you work with The Criminal Defense Team, you’re working with over 120 years of combined experience between our six top-rated criminal defense attorneys. Five out of our six attorneys are Board Certified,* and three of our attorneys were former prosecutors, meaning they have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the strategies and tactics those who are prosecuting you may choose to employ against you.
Our attorneys are members of the National Board of Trial Advocacy and have been recognized for our excellence and integrity. Having secured many favorable outcomes in the forms of awards and settlements over the last fourteen years, our firm is well equipped to do the same for you.
Andrew J. Baldwin, one of our founding partners, has been defending clients since graduating from the University of Akron School of Law in 1994. As a member of the National Board of Trial Advocacy and as a member of the bar in Indiana and the United States District Court (both Northern and Southern Indiana Districts), Baldwin’s attention to detail and legal prowess have made him a big part of The Criminal Defense Team’s legacy of excellence.
Another one of our top attorneys, Kathie A. Perry, is dedicated to bringing the same level of aggressive advocacy to each case she takes on. Having graduated from the Mauer School of Law in 2001, Perry has since served on the National Board of Trial Advocacy board of directors, as well as serving as the chair of the Criminal Trial Specialty Commission. Perry is also a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. An invitation to join that elite group is extended to only the most capable attorneys. Perry’s hard work and tenacious pursuit of justice make her a valuable member of The Criminal Defense Team.
What are Identity Theft Charges?
If you have been accused of identity theft, there are several ways that a prosecutor might attempt to charge you, depending on the nature of the crime.
In Indiana, identity theft is recognized as any attempt to misuse another’s “personal identifying information,” including their name, address, phone number, driver’s license number, social security number, or date of birth. Such attempts are automatically considered to be a level 6 felony and are punishable by up to 2.5 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
What is Check Deception?
Check fraud often falls into one of two categories. In the state of Indiana, most cases of check fraud are charged as forgery or counterfeiting and are punishable as such.
Forgery is defined as a crime intended to defraud someone else that involves a written document the wrongdoer has in their possession, made, or prepared, when they claim the document was made by someone else at a different time, with different provisions, or under someone’s authority (but that authority was not actually given). Forgery is considered a level 6 felony in the state of Indiana and is punishable by up to 2.5 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
Counterfeiting, in most cases automatically considered a level 6 felony, occurs when a person makes or has in their possession a document that is not what they claim it to be, but that they pass off as something of greater value than what’s in hand. In the state of Indiana, this includes all forms of application fraud and is punishable by up to 2.5 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Identity Theft and Check Deception Statistics
- According to a report from the Insurance Information Institute, there were 17,306 reports of incidents involving identity theft in Indiana in the year 2020.
- Data from the Federal Trade Commission reflects that in 2017, Indiana was ranked 31st in the nation for its rate of identity theft reports, which was 75 reports for every 100,000 residents of the state’s population.
- In a 2016 survey by the Center for Victim Research, 82.9 percent of Indiana residents who were victims of identity theft reported the crime was committed by a stranger or unknown person, 10.1 percent said they did not know who committed the crime, and 6.8 percent indicated the crime was committed by someone they knew.
- In 2020, there were 2,814,531 reported cases of fraud nationwide, according to data from the Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Sentinel Network.
- A report from the Federal Trade Commission claims that there were 34,765 reports of fraud in Indiana in 2017.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you still have questions regarding an identity theft or check deception charge raised against you, a few commonly asked questions have been included below for your reference.
How much does it cost to hire an attorney with The Criminal Defense Team?
At The Criminal Defense Team, we believe in providing equal access to justice for those who wish to defend their rights. Because of this, we offer a free consultation to each client. This gives us a chance to learn more about your circumstances and to determine the best course of action for your identity theft or check deception case.
Should we choose to take your case on, there are several ways that the overall cost of our legal services is determined. Our firm will provide a quote for the flat fee to be paid upon hiring us, which can be paid upfront or through installments, should that be the best course of action. This fee is the only charge we require and is determined by factors such as the immediacy of your case, any prior criminal charges, and the severity of your charges.
I’ve been arrested. What should I do?
The most important thing you can do upon arrest is to contact a lawyer. An attorney can evaluate your situation and determine the best way to proceed. You are entitled to several rights upon arrest, including the right to an attorney and the right to remain silent. This means you don’t have to answer any of the police’s questions.
When you call The Criminal Defense Team, you can trust us to do the talking for you. We’re well-equipped to deal with the other parties involved and law enforcement so as to best protect your rights and to avoid any accidental admission of guilt on your end.
What is the difference between a misdemeanor charge and a felony charge?
In the state of Indiana, there are three levels of misdemeanor charges. Misdemeanors are generally less severe than felonies and are divided into three classes. Class A misdemeanors are punishable by up to one year in prison and up to $5,000 in fines, while Class B charges are punishable by up to 180 days in prison and up to $1,000 in fines, and Class C misdemeanors are punishable by up to 60 days in prison and up to $500 in fines.
Felonies are treated as more severe crimes and are divided into six levels. The least severe of these, level 6, is punishable by up to 2.5 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines, while the most severe, a murder charge, is punishable by death, or 45-65 years in prison, plus fines up to $10,000.
Determining whether a crime is a misdemeanor or felony depends on several factors, including any injuries or fatalities suffered, weapons used, and the value of any property that was stolen or damaged.
Call The Criminal Defense Team Today
An identity theft or check deception conviction can mean serious prison time and significant fines. If you or someone you love has been arrested for identity theft or check deception, you may be facing misdemeanor and/or felony charges. Call The Criminal Defense Team today to take the first step towards mitigating the punishments for these charges.
Our Board Certified* Indiana identity theft defense attorneys are ready to prepare your case, protect your rights and defend you in every step of the process. Call The Criminal Defense Team at (317) 687-8326 today to schedule a free, confidential case evaluation.