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Identity theft and the Internet

In many ways, today's life is easier than it was 20 years ago. In other ways, however, it can be much more complicated. This is the case when it comes to the Internet and electronic crimes. Offenses that can be committed over the Internet are numerous, and those who find themselves facing such allegations may be in quite a fight. Failing to adequately prepare a criminal defense could be have long-term consequences.

One Internet crime that could lead to a tough prosecution is identity theft. As it becomes more common, prosecutors intensify their efforts to convict those accused of stealing another person's personal or financial information. Oftentimes, prosecutors will try to show that a defendant acquired another person's information and used it for financial advantage. Although identity theft can be initiated by stealing mail or digging through someone's trash, many times it occurs when an individual accesses a computer without authorization.

This unauthorized access could occur on an alleged victim's computer, or it might be alleged that a defendant accessed government or bank records. Regardless of how the prosecution claims identity theft occurred, accused individuals need to stand prepared to challenge the assertions. Internet crimes can be complicated by both legal and technical matters.

A strong criminal defense approach may mean consulting with Internet experts, witnesses and those who can corroborate where the defendant was at certain times. With their freedom on the line, those accused of identity theft owe it to themselves to protect themselves as fully as possible.

Source: FindLaw, "Identity Theft," accessed Jan. 22, 2015

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