Lehigh County Identity Theft Attorney

The number of victims of identity theft in the U.S. annually now exceeds 10 million. Thieves may use a victim's personal information to establish credit or bank accounts and even obtain government benefits. These types of fraud are sometimes the result of security breaches in the networks of companies that store large volumes of personal customer data.

The average financial loss per incident is slightly over $5,000. Approximately 22% of victims experienced more than one incident of identity theft. In Lehigh County, a Computer Crimes Task Force was established. A spokesman from the group explained that “technology is now associated with every crime.” The Task Force finds themselves investigating crimes including “human trafficking, gangs, identity theft and fraud” among others.

Identify Theft (§4120)

This is a form of fraud where an offender obtains someone's “identifying information” to conduct unlawful activities. The victim is generally unaware that the offense is being committed at the time. Roughly 80% of victims of identity theft are unsure of how their personal information was acquired. Approximately 10% of victims remain unaware that they were victimized two years after the offense is committed.

Grading Matrix

Identity Theft Details

Level of Offense

Maximum Incarceration

Maximum Fine

Theft valued at less than $2,000

First-Degree Misdemeanor

5 years

$10,000

Theft valued at $2,000 or more

Third-Degree Felony

7 years

$15,000

Involving a criminal conspiracy

Third-Degree Felony

7 years

$15,000

Any third or subsequent offense

Second-Degree Felony

10 years

$25,000

Victim(s) is under 18 or over 60 years old

Upgraded One Level

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What is a Criminal Conspiracy?

A conspiracy is when more than one person is involved in planning a crime. To be a conspiracy, the parties must agree to engage or assist in the crime to some extent. When a co-conspirator is aware that another party is conspiring with others in the same crime, all parties are guilty of conspiring with one another regardless of whether they know each other's identity.

Court-Ordered Restitution

Individuals convicted of identity theft may be ordered by the court to make restitution. This financial compensation is independent of the fines imposed. Victims in the aftermath of having their identity stolen are faced with legal expenses for defending against civil actions, fees for correcting credit bureau reports, and a host of others. In Lehigh County, the Victim/Witness Unit is an available resource for assistance with “restitution calculation and claims.”

Child Identity Theft

The Federal Trade Commission recently addressed the increase in the number of identity theft victims that are children. These crimes may go unnoticed by victims and their families for many years, as minors do not generally have credit reports to review. In some of these instances, a child's personal information is accessed from school or medical records.

Legal Representation for Those Accused of Identity Theft

Under Pennsylvania law, those convicted of identity theft may face up to a 10-year prison sentence and a $25,000 fine. Attorney Joseph D. Lento is an experienced defense attorney that aggressively defends clients in these and other criminal cases. Contact the office today at (888) 535-3686 for a case evaluation.

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Attorney Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the Lento Law Firm today! Criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations – the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Berks, Lancaster, Lehigh, and Northampton County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.

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