COVID-19 Notice: Our firm is open and available to help.

Identity Theft

Identity Theft2021-09-24T14:02:31-05:00

Identity Theft Defense Attorneys in Chattanooga, TN

Chattanooga Identity Theft Attorneys in Tennessee

Identity theft occurs when someone wrongfully obtains and uses another person’s personal data by using fraud or deception.

Most instances of identity theft in Tennessee happen for economic gain, i.e., a person’s personal data is stolen so that a fraudster can use it to make money. The financial and personal data in question could be anything from a social security number to tax records, PINs, credit card details, and so on.

Identity theft laws in Tennessee

This type of crime has become more common and more high profile in recent years with online databases holding large volumes of data. However, identity theft also happens at much lower levels and can occur offline too if data is not secured properly. This rarely makes the news headlines.

However, some people consider it one of the fastest-growing crime types in the state. Consequently, Tennessee has a range of laws governing identity theft.

At Houston & Alexander in Chattanooga, our criminal defense lawyers have considerable experience in defending those accused of identity theft crimes and can help if you find yourself in this situation.

What is “aggravated” identity theft?

Under the Theft Penalty Enhancement Act, aggravated identity theft is any theft of personal data in connection with certain federal crimes or with terrorism offenses.

Apart from terrorism, the federal crimes referred to include more than 60 examples of federal theft, fraud, immigration, and related felonies.

What are the punishments for identity theft?

Anyone accused of identity theft in Tennessee may receive a prison sentence, especially if the crime had a large impact on the life of the victim.

Generally speaking, identity theft is treated as a Class D felony crime in Tennessee though there are many different variations. At least a 20-month sentence in prison is a real possibility if convicted.

In cases of aggravated identity theft, the Tennessee courts will impose additional sentences of two years for general offenses (on top of the sentence for the federal crime committed) and five years on top of the sentence imposed for a terrorism-related crime.

“Clueless” identity theft

Unlike with most cases of theft or robbery, where fingerprints, witnesses, video surveillance or other clues may be left, clueless identity theft is relatively common.

The victim of ID theft may not even be aware of the crime until well after it has happened – for instance, after checking a credit card statement or trying to obtain credit.

By this time, the perpetrator may have already used the personal data for considerable financial gain.

Chattanooga Identity Theft Attorneys in Tennessee

Looking for an identity theft defense lawyer in Chattanooga, TN?

If you’ve been charged with identity theft, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced attorney immediately.
Call (423) 267-6715 or request a free case evaluation today.

Types of identity theft in Tennessee

Most types of identity theft in Tennessee occur when personal data is acquired either through:

  • Unlawful access to information from government and financial websites, or
  • Lost or stolen mail, wallets, identification documents, and bank cards (credit/debit).

Standard crimes of identity theft often involve activities such as:

  • Buying false identification
  • Using the identification of another person (including biometric data, fingerprints, retina images, etc.)
  • Selling identification cards and other personal documents

This is generally a Class D felony and, if convicted, you can serve considerable jail time depending on the sum of money involved and its impact on the victim’s life.

The maximum term is 12 years and if this is applied you must serve a minimum of 60 percent. At least 20 percent of the sentence must be served before parole is possible.

Trafficking in identity theft

A charge of identity theft in Tennessee can lead to a federal investigation. Even a state-investigated crime can have serious repercussions.

A criminal conviction can affect your life forever so you need a serious defense against the charges.

Book a free consultation with an experienced identity theft attorney or call us directly at 423-267-6715. We will protect your rights and freedoms and reduce the impact on your future.

Criminal impersonation

Impersonating a law officer is considered a type of identity theft that can lead to a Class A or Class B misdemeanor in Tennessee.

Simply pretending to be a law enforcement officer is a Class B misdemeanor while impersonation to obtain the personal identification of other people is a Class A misdemeanor.

A maximum sentence of 11 months and 29 days in a correctional facility may result along with a $500 fine.

Using false ID to obtain goods

Using some else’s ID or a fake ID to obtain goods is a Class C misdemeanor in Tennessee.

This can lead to a 30-day term in jail and a fine of $50. However, this law does not include minors who purchase alcohol using a fake ID.

Fraudulent use of a credit card

Using a credit card in someone else’s name after you have gained control of it is a type of identity theft linked to fraud and theft.

If the card is stolen but not used, it will lead to a Class A misdemeanor charge, with up to a $2,500 fine and 11 months and 29 days in jail.

If the card is used, theft charges may follow, with the possibility of a longer prison sentence and an order to pay back the amount stolen.

Phishing

Tennessee’s Anti-Phishing Act of 2006 protects online users of websites, email, etc. who have their identity stolen and are represented fraudulently by someone else.

Under the Act, requesting personal information while assuming a false identity is considered a more serious offense.

Generally speaking, the stolen money must be paid back up to three times its value and there will be a considerable fine of at least $5,000.

Protect Your Rights: Call Houston & Alexander, PLLC

A charge of identity theft in Tennessee can lead to a federal investigation. Even a state-investigated crime can have serious repercussions.

A criminal conviction can affect your life forever so you need a serious defense against the charges.

Book a free consultation with an experienced identity theft attorney or call us directly at 423-267-6715. We will protect your rights and freedoms and reduce the impact on your future.

OUR PRACTICE AREAS

Criminal Defense

Learn More

Federal Charges

Learn More

DWI / DUI

Learn More

Drug Charges

Learn More

Personal Injury

Learn More

Car Accidents

Learn More

Motorcycle Accidents

Learn More

Nursing Home Abuse

Learn More

OUR PRACTICE AREAS

Criminal Defense

Learn More

Federal Charges

Learn More

DWI / DUI

Learn More

Drug Charges

Learn More

Personal Injury

Learn More

Nursing Home Abuse

Learn More

Motorcycle Accidents

Learn More

Car Accidents

Learn More

TESTIMONIALS

The moment finally came when I saw Jay walk down the stairs in the court room, he flashed me a thumbs up and I knew... I knew I won. If you need a lawyer do not hesitate to call Houston & Alexander. There is no one that will represent you better anywhere in Chattanooga. I wholeheartedly give them five stars. - Antonio
I had hired another law firm and they were getting nowhere with my case. I was charged with multiple offense DUIs and other charges. I was not sure where to turn and called Houston and Alexander. Johnny Houston went the EXTRA MILE for me! The other law firm had negotiated a sentence that may have made me lose my house, my kids...everything. Johnny was not only able to get my charges reduced but also the sentence net result was I was able to keep my family together. -Colleen
We've been clients of Houston & Alexander for three years, with Bret Alexander representing us during that time. I can't speak highly enough of his integrity, professionalism, and his dedication to our legal needs. We are so grateful for his guidance and effectiveness through such a difficult time. He's an attorney you can trust and depend on to do the right thing. We are sincerely so grateful. Thank You! - Trish
I am a Desert Storm veteran and found myself in need of legal counsel. Everyone from the receptionist to the attorney himself treated me with the utmost respect and dignity. I found them to be knowledgeable and most helpful. I would recommend Houston and Alexander for all your legal needs. Thank you for all of your help. - C Pugh
I won't go into specifics because they are very embarrassing for my family. But if you have a daughter who has been criminally charged with a serious charge, Johnny Houston should be your go-to gentleman. Because of his hard work, and diligence in our case, we can once again hold our heads High and consider this a lesson learned. Thank you Johnny Houston from the bottom of our hearts! -Karen A.
My son made a couple of mistakes and was faced with having a criminal record. Mr. Houston stepped in and provided us with excellent representation. My son will NOT have a record now and is looking forward to the future. I also can't say enough about the staff at Houston & Alexander. Always responsive and informative and really went the extra mile. I cannot recommend them enough! - Alice
Due the stress of this pandemic and the loss of employment, my wife and I got into an argument and I ended up getting arrested and charged with domestic violence. I could not go home, could not have any contact with my wife and had no place to live. An elected official/friend referred me to Johnny Houston and his law firm. Due to Johnny's efforts, not only did we get into court quickly, but all charges were dismissed. We are back together now and I am getting this expunged. Thank you, Johnny! - Client
I had too much to drink one night and backed into another car. I was charged with second offense DUI and felony reckless endangerment. I was at a real low point in my life and my husband had recently passed away. Johnny was able to get the felonies dismissed and I pled guilty to a first offense. Instead of facing significant jail time and a felony, I did a few days in jail and wore an alcohol monitor. Johnny was able to humanize me with the DA and I was able to get my life back on track again. Great law firm! You would be crazy to go anywhere else. - Karen M.
I am a college student. I was involved in a wreck and was charged with DUI and leaving the scene. I thought I was ok to drive but my blood result said otherwise. A DUI conviction would have really hurt my chances of getting a good job. Johnny and Bret told me I had a difficult case and the only guarantee they gave was that they would work hard for me. They NEVER gave up on my case and ultimately persuaded the arresting officer and the DA to reduce the charge. If YOU need help on a DUI or any other case, call them! These men are not only hard working but kind. - Kate
I had hired another law firm and they were getting nowhere with my case. I was charged with multiple offense DUI and other charges. Johnny Houston went the EXTRA MILE for me! The other law firm had negotiated a sentence that may have made me lose my house, my kids...everything. Johnny was not only able to get my charges reduced but also the sentence. I kept my house and my family intact! I have turned my life around and things are great! Johnny did not forget about me once the case was over, either. I needed some additional help with my license and Johnny jumped right on it. - Colleen
Johnny and Bret took my case and treated me like a person, not a number. I was looking at a long prison sentence (10+ years). These guys stepped in, calmed me down, and told me that they were going to be there for me. When you first walk in their office, you have that at home feeling. With Mrs. Wanda, a very welcoming atmosphere. They really treat you like family here. I would recommend Mr. Houston and Mr. Alexander to anyone who needs their service. You will not go wrong with these guys. THEY KNOW THE LAW!!!! - WARDELL
We were from out of town and had no friends or family in the area. Things got out of control and the next morning we were arrested and charged with Felonies. In my opinion, we were over charged. We called Johny and he agreed to meet with us right away. Johnny was attentive and listened. Facing possible jail time and the loss of my husband,s job we were terrified. Johnny literally rescued us! He took the lead, met with the DA and the alleged victim, and really smoothed things over. Johnny was confident and appeared to get along well with the Prosecutors and Judges. We were very fortunate to find Johnny. - Tana

TESTIMONIALS

The moment finally came when I saw Jay walk down the stairs in the court room, he flashed me a thumbs up and I knew... I knew I won. If you need a lawyer do not hesitate to call Houston & Alexander. There is no one that will represent you better anywhere in Chattanooga. I wholeheartedly give them five stars. - Antonio
I had hired another law firm and they were getting nowhere with my case. I was charged with multiple offense DUIs and other charges. I was not sure where to turn and called Houston and Alexander. Johnny Houston went the EXTRA MILE for me! The other law firm had negotiated a sentence that may have made me lose my house, my kids...everything. Johnny was not only able to get my charges reduced but also the sentence net result was I was able to keep my family together. -Colleen
We've been clients of Houston & Alexander for three years, with Bret Alexander representing us during that time. I can't speak highly enough of his integrity, professionalism, and his dedication to our legal needs. We are so grateful for his guidance and effectiveness through such a difficult time. He's an attorney you can trust and depend on to do the right thing. We are sincerely so grateful. Thank You! - Trish
I am a Desert Storm veteran and found myself in need of legal counsel. Everyone from the receptionist to the attorney himself treated me with the utmost respect and dignity. I found them to be knowledgeable and most helpful. I would recommend Houston and Alexander for all your legal needs. Thank you for all of your help. - C Pugh
I won't go into specifics because they are very embarrassing for my family. But if you have a daughter who has been criminally charged with a serious charge, Johnny Houston should be your go-to gentleman. Because of his hard work, and diligence in our case, we can once again hold our heads High and consider this a lesson learned. Thank you Johnny Houston from the bottom of our hearts! -Karen A.
My son made a couple of mistakes and was faced with having a criminal record. Mr. Houston stepped in and provided us with excellent representation. My son will NOT have a record now and is looking forward to the future. I also can't say enough about the staff at Houston & Alexander. Always responsive and informative and really went the extra mile. I cannot recommend them enough! - Alice
Due the stress of this pandemic and the loss of employment, my wife and I got into an argument and I ended up getting arrested and charged with domestic violence. I could not go home, could not have any contact with my wife and had no place to live. An elected official/friend referred me to Johnny Houston and his law firm. Due to Johnny's efforts, not only did we get into court quickly, but all charges were dismissed. We are back together now and I am getting this expunged. Thank you, Johnny! - Client
I had too much to drink one night and backed into another car. I was charged with second offense DUI and felony reckless endangerment. I was at a real low point in my life and my husband had recently passed away. Johnny was able to get the felonies dismissed and I pled guilty to a first offense. Instead of facing significant jail time and a felony, I did a few days in jail and wore an alcohol monitor. Johnny was able to humanize me with the DA and I was able to get my life back on track again. Great law firm! You would be crazy to go anywhere else. - Karen M.
I am a college student. I was involved in a wreck and was charged with DUI and leaving the scene. I thought I was ok to drive but my blood result said otherwise. A DUI conviction would have really hurt my chances of getting a good job. Johnny and Bret told me I had a difficult case and the only guarantee they gave was that they would work hard for me. They NEVER gave up on my case and ultimately persuaded the arresting officer and the DA to reduce the charge. If YOU need help on a DUI or any other case, call them! These men are not only hard working but kind. - Kate
I had hired another law firm and they were getting nowhere with my case. I was charged with multiple offense DUI and other charges. Johnny Houston went the EXTRA MILE for me! The other law firm had negotiated a sentence that may have made me lose my house, my kids...everything. Johnny was not only able to get my charges reduced but also the sentence. I kept my house and my family intact! I have turned my life around and things are great! Johnny did not forget about me once the case was over, either. I needed some additional help with my license and Johnny jumped right on it. - Colleen
Johnny and Bret took my case and treated me like a person, not a number. I was looking at a long prison sentence (10+ years). These guys stepped in, calmed me down, and told me that they were going to be there for me. When you first walk in their office, you have that at home feeling. With Mrs. Wanda, a very welcoming atmosphere. They really treat you like family here. I would recommend Mr. Houston and Mr. Alexander to anyone who needs their service. You will not go wrong with these guys. THEY KNOW THE LAW!!!! - WARDELL
We were from out of town and had no friends or family in the area. Things got out of control and the next morning we were arrested and charged with Felonies. In my opinion, we were over charged. We called Johny and he agreed to meet with us right away. Johnny was attentive and listened. Facing possible jail time and the loss of my husband,s job we were terrified. Johnny literally rescued us! He took the lead, met with the DA and the alleged victim, and really smoothed things over. Johnny was confident and appeared to get along well with the Prosecutors and Judges. We were very fortunate to find Johnny. - Tana

View our reviews online.

View our reviews online.

ATTORNEY PROFILES

ATTORNEY PROFILES

JOHNNY D. HOUSTON

BRET ALEXANDER

AMANDA BRANAM DUNN

JAY UNDERWOOD

CONSULT WITH OUR LEGAL TEAM

Please contact us online for a free consultation.

CONSULT OUR LEGAL TEAM

Please contact us online for a free consultation.
Go to Top