Most identity theft cases leave the victim facing credit problems and bills for services they did not purchase. But if someone steals your identity, it can even result in your arrest. If you have been charged with any crime, even as a result of a misunderstanding, it is critical you work with a top San Diego criminal defense lawyer in order to clear things up.
Charged With a Crime After Identity Theft
While this consequence of identity theft is a lot less frequent than the more common financial ones, it can easily be much more problematic. A recent case in the news illustrates how someone can be arrested just because someone wrongfully used their identity while committing a crime. Ousmane Bah had a driver’s permit without his photo on it stolen by someone who then went to multiple Apple stores and robbed merchandise after giving Bah’s permit as ID.
Apple then submitted the Bah’s information from his ID along with the thief’s image from the security footage to the police. Bah received a court summons and was later arrested months later. Most San Diego criminal attorneys would recommend talking to a lawyer as soon as you receive such a summons, especially if you have no idea what they are for. This can help you avoid an arrest and hopefully even sort out the matter before you get arrested like Bah did. Of course, it’s understandable to ignore the problem if you think it’s a mistake, but this can leave you with a warrant for your arrest when you miss your court appearance.
Fortunately in this case, when Bah was arrested, a detective reviewed surveillance footage from the crime and soon realized the man in the video was not the man they apprehended. As a result, he was set free and the charges against him were dropped -though things would not have been so simple if the thief happened to look a little more similar to the person whose ID he stole.
Facing Similar Problems?
When you notice your driver’s license, passports or other identification has been stolen, it’s important to report the theft to the police. This can help protect you if you are later charged with a crime related to someone using your identification. If you are arrested and believe the problem is related to a case of identity theft, it is critical you contact a San Diego criminal attorney as soon as possible in order to ensure your rights are protected and that you do not accidentally do something that hurts your defense later.
If you have been accused of a crime, San Diego defense lawyer Peter M. Liss can help you fight the charges,whether or not identity theft may be the cause (or even if you were accused of identity theft). Please call (760) 643-4050 or (858) 486-3024 to schedule a free initial consultation.
Image by Anita Jankovic