Michigan has an Identity Theft Act. Your daughter's offense would come under Section 445.65. (See link
). This is a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 5 years or a fine of not more than $25,000.00, or both, and she has two counts of it.
Your daughter should make sure she is represented by counsel. If she cannot afford to retain one, she should plead not guilty at her arraignment, tell the judge that she is without the funds to hire a lawyer and ask for a court
-appointed attorney. The lawyer can advise her of her rights and the strengths and weaknesses of her case if she wishes to fight the charges and go all the way to trial
and also may be able to negotiate something on her behalf which will keep her out of jail if she wishes to do some damage control and take a plea.
While the charges against her are serious enough to merit her up to 5 years in jail, the state will want its money back. They cannot collect it as quickly from her if she's in prison and not earning any real salary. So it would not be unreasonable for her lawyer to be able to ask for and obtain for her a plea bargain where she would be placed on probation. As one of her special conditions of her continuted liberty, she would be put on a payment plan and expected to pay off the amount of the loan money which was given to her. There would likely be other conditions as well, but they will be determined by the Department of Probation.
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This thread will not close and you can always use it to get clarification.This is informational only and is NOT legal advice. There is no attorney-client relationship. You are advised to consult an attorney in your state for specific legal advice.
Edited by FranL on 1/3/2010 at 2:03 PM EST