Victims of Criminal Acts
Our Baltimore crime victim lawyers help clients through the process of civil litigation with the aim of publicly identifying those responsible in an effort to protect other potential victims. Our firm’s crime victim representation includes:
- Sexual abuse
- Identity theft
- Maryland statutory law identifies several different categories of conduct that constitute identity theft crimes. First, a person may not knowingly and willfully assume the identify of another: (1) to avoid identification, apprehension, or prosecution for a crime; or (2) with fraudulent intent to: (i) get a benefit, credit, good, service, or other thing of value; or (ii) avoid the payment of debt or other legal obligation.
- Secondly, a person may not knowingly, willfully, and with fraudulent intent to obtain a benefit, credit, good, service, or other thing of value use: (1) a re-encoder to manipulate or place information on the magnetic transmitter of a credit card from a different credit card that allows such a transaction to occur without the consent of the authorized user from which the encoded information was taken; or (2) a skimming device to access, read, scan, obtain, memorize, or store personal identifying information or a payment device number of a credit card without the consent of the authorized user. Personal identifying information includes a name, address, phone number, driver’s license number, Social Security Number, place of employment, employee ID number, mother’s maiden name, bank or other financial institution account number, date of birth, personal ID number (PIN), credit card number, or other payment device number.
- Third, a person may not knowingly, willfully, and with fraudulent intent possess, obtain, or help another possess or obtain a re-encoder or skimming device for unauthorized use, sale, or transfer of personal identifying information or a payment device number.
- Lastly, a person may not knowingly and willfully claim to represent another person without the knowledge and consent of that person, with the intent to solicit, request, or take any other action to otherwise induce another person to provide personal identifying information or a payment device number.
- Penalties – Individuals convicted under Maryland’s identity theft statute may face:
- Imprisonment for up to 15 years and/or a fine of $25,000, if the violation is for a value of $500 or greater, which is considered a felony.
- Imprisonment for up to 18 months and/or a fine of $5,000, if the violation is for a value of $500 or less, which is considered a misdemeanor.
- Restitution and costs, which require the offender to pay the victim for reasonable costs of the offense, including attorney’s fees. This could include paying to correct the victim credit report or remove fraudulent liens incurred by the offender.
Criminals should not get off let off easy after committing a crime. If you have been a victim of a crime and would like to hold the perpetrator accountable, contact our crime victim lawyers for a free case evaluation. Call us at 888-585-7979.
Who Might Be Liable for Your Losses?
Victims of crimes may suffer a variety of losses, depending on the nature and severity of the crime. Losses might include physical injuries, medical bills, lost earnings, property loss, mental distress, and psychological injuries. Victims of crimes may be able to seek compensation for these losses. The Cohen|Harris crime victim lawyers assist clients with filings claims against:
- The assailant or perpetrator
- When the intentional, reckless, and/or criminal conduct of another party causes you injury, you have the right to file a lawsuit against the offending party for damages. Crime victims are entitled to file civil claims against criminal offenders, even if the person responsible has not been convicted in criminal proceedings. In a civil setting, criminal conduct can be established by a preponderance of the evidence, which is a lower evidentiary standard than required for a conviction in criminal court.
- In some instances, it may be possible to file a lawsuit against third parties for negligent hiring, negligent supervision, or a failure to screen its employees or volunteers. An example of this is if an employer hires a known sexual offender who will have ready access to children in the course of employment. In the event an employer hires such a person for a position that requires access to family homes, and an assault occurs, the employer may be held liable.
- Property owners and managers
- Property owners and managers have a duty to provide reasonable security for their properties. In some instances, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the property owner or manager for negligent or insufficient security. As an example, hotels are often required to provide monitored access to its lobby, video surveillance of the site, and locked doors for its guests. When a property owner does not meet the reasonable standard of care regarding security, and a guest suffers a preventable criminal assault, the property owner or manager may be held liable.