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Many identity theft cases include mandatory sentences

When people think of identity theft charges in Texas, their mind may first go to major overseas projects or a comprehensive system. However, people can be charged with identity theft on the basis of a number of allegations, some of which seem surprisingly minor. At the same time, some federal identity theft offenses carry mandatory minimum sentences. Not all state or even federal charges require the imposition of these mandatory minimums, especially because of the wide range of issues that can be prosecuted under the banner of identity theft.

An increasing number of people who face federal identity theft allegations are charged with offenses that could lead to mandatory minimum sentences if convicted. Over half of them, 53.4 percent, faced mandatory minimums while 46.6 percent faced charges that did not have these minimum sentencing requirements. This is a trend that has continued over the years. In 2006, only 21.9 percent of people accused of identity theft faced charges that included mandatory minimum sentences. In addition, more people are being charged with identity theft; while these charges made up only 4 percent of all charges with mandatory minimums in 2010, they constitute 7.2 percent in 2016.

In general, people who are sentenced for the allegations that carry mandatory minimums receive longer sentences than those who are not. The average sentence for people convicted of one of these federal charges was 51 months while people convicted on other identity theft charges had an average 22-month sentence. In most cases, they faced additional felony charges and not only the identity theft accusations.

People who are facing federal charges for identity theft could be subject to severe consequences, including prison time and a felony criminal record. A criminal defense attorney may help the accused to challenge prosecution narratives and assert a defense before trial and in the courtroom.

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