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Posted on in Fraud

IL defense attorneyIllinois has two separate laws covering forgery and identity theft, however, they are both deceptive practices that are taken seriously due to the harm it causes a victim. Forgery is a crime that could lead to identity theft because it starts with using someone else’s signature to steal money, goods, or personal information. Both crimes are felony offenses, but for identity theft, punishments become more severe depending on the harm done to a victim.

What Is the Difference?

Illinois law says that someone commits forgery when they do any of the following with the intent to defraud a victim:

  • Make or alter a document that has false information
  • Deliver false documents with the knowledge that the information is false
  • Possession with intent to deliver false documents
  • Obtain, possess, or sell another person’s personal information unlawfully
  • Use an electronic device to create a false signature for another person
  • Writing the signature of another person to cash a check or purchase goods

These actions touch the shallow end of identity theft because once a person has the personal information of another, they have the tools they need to commit the more hurtful crime. Forgery is a Class 3 felony most of the time; charges are elevated to a Class 4 felony if a Universal Price Code Label is forged.

Identity theft is covered in greater detail by Illinois law. The crime is defined as someone using the personal and financial information of another in order to obtain money, goods, property, or anything else of value.

Once the alleged thief has the victim’s personal information, they commit identity theft by:

  • Using another’s information to commit another type of felony
  • Selling or distributing another person’s information to others who will commit another felony crime
  • Using another’s information even though they know the information is stolen
  • Using another’s information to portray themselves as the victim in order to commit a crime or obtain items of value
  • Using another’s information in order to gain access to more personal of financial information
  • Aggravated identity theft: stealing personal or financial information from a person over the age of 60 years

Like forgery, identity theft is a felony offense. Depending on the severity of the crime - the monetary value of goods stolen and the amount of previous identity theft convictions against a thief - the charges can range from Class 4 to Class X felonies.

Contact an Elgin, IL Criminal Defense Lawyer

Any deceptive crime can be harmful to a victim and can change the life of an alleged thief not only through a criminal record, but also their reputation in the community. If you are being accused of identity theft, hire a lawyer from the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola. Our lawyers have experience making sure a client’s rights are not being violated during a litigation. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County criminal defense lawyer, call our office at 847-488-0889.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K17-3

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K16-30

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Posted on in Criminal Defense

pardons in Illinois, Elgin criminal defense attorneyConvictions for criminal offenses can follow a person for the rest of his or her life. A youthful mistake can make it difficult to find a place to live or get hired for a job. Fortunately, the law provides a variety of options for people looking to have their criminal records wiped away.

Some of these remedies, like sealing or expungement, do not completely eliminate the record, or only work for certain crimes. For people who do not qualify for those remedies, there is still one option remaining, the governor's pardon. Pardons, also referred to as executive clemency, are a broader option available for all crimes, however, decisions are made on a case by case basis, so having a strong pardon application is important.

The Benefits of Pardons

Pardons are a power the Governor has to forgive any and all crimes. This sort of forgiveness can come with a wide array of different benefits. For instance, the Governor can restore all the rights and privileges that a person loses when he or she is convicted of a felony. These include the right to hold certain jobs, and the right to legally own a firearm, along with some others. The Governor may also choose to make the crimes available to be sealed or expunged. The exact effect of that decision depends on which he chooses to use. A sealed record is unavailable to most employers, but is still available to law enforcement or if the judge orders it unsealed. Conversely, an expunged record is actually destroyed, so it is the preferable option.

The Pardon Process

The pardon process can be long and difficult, but worthwhile in the end. The first step is filing a petition for executive clemency with the Illinois Prisoner Review Board. The petition is a typewritten narrative that details things like the offenses that the person is seeking a pardon for, the circumstances surrounding those offenses, the reasons the person is seeking clemency, and a biographical history. This petition must also include supporting materials, which comprise one of the most important parts of the document. These materials are extra paperwork that support the claims made in the petition. These can be documents like diplomas to demonstrate educational progress, or they can also be supporting statements made by other people.

Once the petition is submitted, the next step is a hearing in front of the Illinois Prisoner Review Board. The hearing allows the petitioner and anyone who opposes the pardon to give informal testimony to the prisoner review board. After the testimony, the Board makes a confidential recommendation to the Governor's office, which then makes the final decision.

Pardons can be a life-changing experience for those who ultimately qualify for them. If you believe you may qualify for a pardon, contact a Kane County criminal defense attorney today to learn more about the process.
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