What to do if my father is falsely accusing me and my wife of ID theft?

UPDATED: Nov 11, 2011

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What to do if my father is falsely accusing me and my wife of ID theft?

My father is falsely accusing me and my wife of ID theft. We cared for him for several years and during that time he got several credit cards and put my wife as authorized user; he also put her on his bank account and as an account manager on a cell phone account. Recently he and I had a falling out due to his excessive drinking and his actions while he is drunk. I told him that he had to move out. A few months after he left, a detective came to my house and asked for a statement from me and my wife because my father is now claiming fraud and ID theft but only on the cards with outstanding balances. He is not claiming fraud on the bank account.

Asked on November 11, 2011 under Criminal Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

1) First, to defend yourselves, a) get an attorney to represent you--you need legal counsel when accused of what could be a felony; b) organize or marshall any evidence that this did not happen; and c) do not speak to the authorities (e.g. police) until and unless you talk to your lawyer. (Remember: you have a constitutional "right to silence.")

2) If the accusations are false, you may be able to sue your father for defamation and/or for malicious prosecution--you should discuss these options with your attorney, too. Since you may have legal claims against your father, even if there have not yet been charges or arrests against  you or your wife, it's still worthwhile consulting with an attorney.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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