Identity fraud is on the rise. In 2009, over 11 million people were victims of some kind of identity fraud. In Georgia, any use of a person’s identifying information without consent or authorization for the purpose of committing a crime or fraud can be prosecuted. Identity fraud is a felony, punishable by one (1) to ten (10) years in prison for a first offense, and three (3) to fifteen (15) years in prison for a second or subsequent offense.

How does Atlanta criminal attorney Andrew B. Margolis defend against allegations of Identity Fraud? Early intervention and painstaking preparation and attention to detail are critical. We will begin by thoroughly investigating your entire situation. At a minimum, this will involve analyzing any documents or evidence you provide and interviewing the appropriate people who may have information relevant to your case. We may also work with a forensic accountant or other professional in the financial field, who will be able to help us challenge the other side’s version of what allegedly happened. If the other side is seeking that you pay restitution, Andrew Margolis will negotiate the amount so that you don’t pay more than what’s fair in your case.

Sometimes, individuals will find themselves accused of signing someone else’s name to a check without permission, or using someone else’s credit or debit card without permission. These types of cases will typically be charged as Forgery, in the case of a check or any other writing, or Financial Transaction Card Theft (or Fraud). In either case, you will need an experienced and knowledgeable Atlanta criminal attorney to defend you against the charges.

Forgery is described by Georgia law in the following way: “A person commits the offense of forgery…when with intent to defraud he knowingly makes, alters, or possesses any writing in a fictitious name, or in such manner that the writing as made or altered purports to have been made by another person, at another time, with different provisions, or by authority of one who did not give such authority…” This is applied most commonly in situations where a person creates a fake check or signs someone else’s name to either the front or back of a check without permission. It is also common to see Forgery charges in cases where individuals attempt to obtain drugs from a pharmacy with either a fake or altered prescription.

Forgery in the 1st Degree: A person who attempts to use a forged check, prescription, or other item covered by the statute will find him or herself charged with Forgery in the 1st Degree. This is a felony, punishable by one (1) to ten (10) years in prison.

Forgery in the 2nd Degree: Simply having possession of forged items, even if no attempt is made to use them, is a crime in Georgia. Under those circumstances, you will find yourself charged with Forgery in the 2nd Degree, which is a felony punishable by one (1) to five (5) years in prison.

Whether you are charged with stealing massive amounts of money or simply using someone else’s credit card to buy groceries, Attorney Andrew Margolis has the knowledge and experience to defend your case. Call The Margolis Legal Group, P.C. to talk to an Atlanta criminal attorney today.